Longshot Hoofit skimmed the rail under Edgar Prado and won a head bob on the wire to upset the Grade 3, $175,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes on Keeneland's opening day card Friday.
Going off at 11-1, Hoofit earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint with the photo-finish victory over 2-1 second choice Aikenite, although his connections would need to pay supplemental fees if they choose to pursue a BC start. The final time for six furlongs was 1:09.27.
Hoofit is owned by Mrs. S K Johnston, Jr. and was bred in New Zealand by the Ra and Je Ferguson Partnership Syndicate. Trained by Graham Motion, he's a four-year-old gelded son of Mossman out of the Danehill mare, Chuckle.
6-5 favorite Flashpoint battled for the lead early with Sterling Outlook while Hoofit and Aikenite stayed at the back of the pack until turning for home. Aikenite surged on the outside of the tiring leaders while Hoofit took the rail path, and the duo battled to the wire heads apart.
The Phoenix was Hoofit's second start in the U.S., following a three and a quarter-length victory in a restricted allowance race at Presque Isle Downs in early September. He's now four for 18 in his career.
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