Pedigree notebook: Hot and Sultry genetic combo

January 24th, 2023

There’s a lot of pedigree coverage for contenders on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, but what about all the other divisions in Thoroughbred racing? This is a space to highlight a wider range of pedigree musings.

Hot and Sultry – American Beauty S.

Four-year-old filly Hot and Sultry continued her upward curve by capturing her stakes debut in the Jan. 21 American Beauty S. at Oaklawn Park. The 6-5 favorite was coming off a second to last year’s Fantasy (G3) heroine Yuugiri in a Dec. 30 allowance, their mutual comeback from long layoffs. Attractive in her own right as a lightly-raced prospect for Norm Casse, the Alex and Joann Lieblong colorbearer also sports pedigree appeal.

Hot and Sultry’s name continues the torrid theme from her ancestress, Hall of Fame sprinter Xtra Heat, by Dixieland Heat. But it could just as well refer to the produce record of her own dam, the Medaglia d’Oro mare Hot Water, who is a granddaughter of Xtra Heat. Hot and Sultry is the third stakes winner produced by Hot Water, after Grade 3-placed stakes scorer Tracksmith and Scalding, victor of the 2022 Ben Ali (G3) (beating Proxy) and Challenger (G3) (over Cody’s Wish).

Beyond the factoid about her dam, however, is the pedigree pattern that Hot and Sultry represents. She’s bred on the noteworthy cross of Speightstown over Medaglia d’Oro, as is another stakes winner from Saturday – Prince of Jericho, who romped in the Spectacular Bid S. at Laurel.

Significantly, both are by sons of Speightstown, revealing that this “nick” is extending to the next generation. Prince of Jericho is by the successful sire Munnings, whose Grade 3-winning son (and social media darling) Barkley is likewise out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare. So is smashing debut winner Munnys Gold, who returns at Gulfstream Park Wednesday for Todd Pletcher. A similar cross is visible with Grade 2 scorer Free Rose, by Munnings out of a mare by El Prado (Medaglia d’Oro’s sire).

Hot and Sultry is from the second crop of beautifully-bred and much-missed Speightster, who sadly died after a stall accident a year ago. The winner of three of four career starts, including the 2015 Dwyer (G3), Speightster was produced by a full sister to dual Hall of Famer Dance Smartly.

Speightster’s leading earner, Dreaming of Drew, is herself out of an El Prado mare (Grade 3 vixen Dreaming of Liz). Dreaming of Drew, a three-time stakes winner at Woodbine, has placed in a pair of Grade 3s. Most notably, she was runner-up to Lady Speightspeare in last August’s Trillium (G3). Speightster has also sired a prior stakes winner out of a Medaglia d’Oro daughter; his Majestic d’Oro, like Hot and Sultry a foal of 2019, landed the Alywow S. as a sophomore.

The most evidence comes directly from Speightstown himself. Olympiad, the reigning Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) star and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner-up, is the most recent Speightstown celebrity out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare. Also among the prolific sire’s offspring bred on this cross are Grade 1 winners Competitionofideas and Rock Fall, along with multiple Grade 1-placed Dawn the Destroyer, third in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Speightstown’s two-time Canadian champion sprinter, millionaire Essence Hit Man, is out of an El Prado mare. To pull the curtain back a bit further, Grade 1 turfiste Shirl’s Speight is a son of Speightstown and Perfect Shirl, the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) upsetter. Perfect Shirl is by Perfect Soul, like El Prado a son of supersire Sadler’s Wells.

Hot and Sultry is eligible to add to the Speightstown/Medaglia d’Oro portfolio. As Casse explained in his postrace comments, the filly is not a pure sprinter. She won an allowance around the one-turn mile at Churchill Downs two back in July, and routing is in her future. With only five starts under her belt, Hot and Sultry is just warming up.