Hot Mess Express Goes Out A Winner

Hot Mess Express winning at The Meadowlands
Published: February 3, 2024 01:10 am EST

Showing the heart of the champion she’s been throughout her racing career, Hot Mess Express made her final career start a winning one on Friday night (Feb. 2), taking a mid-range conditioned pace for mares at The Meadowlands in 1:53.2 in ultra-game fashion.

“It brought tears down my face for her and [driver] Anibal [Borjas],” said owner Sam Bowie, a former college and professional basketball standout. “They are both very deserving. Hot Mess Express showed so much class and determination. It was a beautiful way for her to end her racing career.”

Sent to the gate as the 7-2 third choice in the betting, Hot Mess Express was away quickly from post eight in the eight-horse field (there was one scratch), but so were 7-5 favourite Pattycake Mooss and 15-1 outsider I Love Ongait, which forced Borjas to back into the four-hole as ‘Pattycake’ hit the quarter in :28 and the half in :57.1.

With the outer flow starting to take shape, Hot Mess Express had no choice but to vacate the rail just after the half and made up ground steadily while first-over, getting to within a half-length of the leader as three-quarters was timed in 1:25.3.

At the head of the lane, Pattycake Mooss shrugged off ‘Hot Mess,’ but the Tony Alagna trainee, who finished her career with a bank account of $982,029, would not be denied, using every inch of the stretch to steadily chip away at the public choice's edge before gunning that one down right as they hit the wire to record her 29th lifetime win (from 68 starts) by a head. Lets Misbehave finished third.

“Based on her last two starts [third-place finishes with better foes], she was sitting on a big effort,” said Alagna. “She likes to rough it when she’s sharp.”

“I knew I had to move [at the half] because if I stayed at the rail, I’d be last,” said Borjas. “When I started yelling at her, she listened to me and woke up. She’s very special to me. I want to say thanks to Sam Bowie and Tony Alagna for the opportunity to drive this horse.”

The six-year-old daughter of Panther Hanover-My Heart Was True, who won 13 of 16 outings during a three-year-old season in which she banked $655,215 while taking the 2021 Nadia Lobell and Mistletoe Shalee, is now off to the breeding shed after paying $9.80 to win.

“She’ll head to Hunterton Farm [in Paris, Kentucky] next week and will be bred to Captaintreacherous in the spring,” said Alagna.

And no doubt be a mom to more champions.

Dave Miller led the driver colony with four victories on the program. ‘The Buckeye’ also had three winners last Friday.

All-source handle on the 14-race card totalled $3,276,820, the sixth time from eight nights of racing that wagering went past the $3 million mark this year.

Racing resumes on Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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