April 16, 2024

Hot and Sultry sharp in Chilukki comeback

Hot and Sultry wins the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography /Credit to Jetta Vaughns)

Hot and Sultry came back running from a six-month layoff in Saturday’s $295,000 Chilukki (G2), dominating the one-mile event at Churchill Downs on the lead. Ricardo Santana Jr. picked up the mount on the four-year-old filly, who registered her first graded success with the career-best effort, and Norm Casse trains for Alex and Joann Lieblong.

Last seen finishing fourth in the Derby City Distaff (G1) on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard, Hot and Sultry earned her first graded stakes success with the eight-length decision. The dark bay sprinted clear from her outside post at the break, establishing opening splits in :23.03 and :45.88 while comfortably extending her advantage, and Hot and Sultry continued to pour it on through the Churchill Downs stretch, finishing up in 1:35.93.

“She broke pretty good and she’s a very fast filly,” Santana said. “We went quick early, but she was doing it very easily. She’s a very nice filly.” 

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Speightster, Hot and Sultry improved her career record to 9-5-2-1. She captured her stakes debut earlier this year, taking the six-furlong American Beauty at Oaklawn, and stretched out to two turns to finish third in the Apple Blossom (G1) two starts later.

“This was a tough race, but it was a little bit of class relief from her last start in the Derby City Distaff,” Casse said. “The Lieblongs are based in Arkansas so Oaklawn is probably the next logical spot to end up with her.”

Hot and Sultry was off as the 2.10-1 favorite among eight rivals. Grade 3 winner Nostalgic, the 3.92-1 third choice, rallied from last for second, a nose better than Oeuvre in third. Next came Falconet, She Can’t Sing, Be Like Water, Braganza, and Hidden Connection.

Bred by Cobalt Investments, Hot and Sultry sold for $475,000 as a yearling at the 2020 Keeneland September sale. She hails from the unraced Medaglia d’Oro mare Hot Water and counts Grade 3 winner Scalding, stakes victor Tracksmith, and recent juvenile stakes winner Hot Beach as half-siblings. This is also the immediate female family of 2001 champion three-year-old filly and Hall of Famer Xtra Heat.