Hotep is a 2-year-old thoroughbred that I have had on my watch list for some time and today, along with six other juveniles, he will make his stakes debut in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine.
Hotep is a full brother to this year’s Canadian Queen’s Plate winner Eye Of The Leopard and I’m eager to see how well he performs in the Coronation. So far, with a win in his maiden debut last month, Hotep is farther along that his older brother who did not race as a 2-year-old and just started racing this past April.
Both Eye of The Leopard and Hotep are trained by Mark Frostad who won the Coronation in 1999 with Dixieland Diamond.
I like it that Hotep’s maiden win came in a 1-mile, 70-yard route race and his pedigree suggests that he will relish going even farther.
Hotep comes into 9-furlong Coronation as the 5-1 morning-line-third-choice. His major competition will most likely come from the 6-5 morning line favorite Hollinger who won the 8.5-furlong Cup And Saucer Stakes on the turf last month at Woodbine.
Undefeated in three starts, Hollinger is trained by Roger Attfield who won the Coronation three times with Ablo in 2004, Talkin Man in 1994 and Norcliffe in 1975.
Stormy Lord (6-1) finished second to Hollinger in the Cup And Saucer Stakes and I look for him to be in the mix at the finish. His sire Stormy Atlantic sired Leonnatus Anteas who won the Coronation in 2006 and went on to become the Canadian Champion Two Year Old Colt.
Another horse that probably should be used in the exotics is Vicar Street (8-1) who narrowly lost to Hotep by a neck in his last outing. His damsire, At The Threshold, sired the 1992 Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee and his second damsire, Norcliffe, won the 1975 edition of the Coronation.
Ghost Fleet is the 4-1 second-choice but he failed as the favorite in his last race when stretching out to a route in the Grey Stakes (G3) and I'm not too keen on him in this race.