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Friday Feature

Dougs Hobby Horse all business in Budahn

The first two times James Kennedy guided Dougs Hobby Horse for Rick Bertrand didn’t turn out so well, with the mare making breaks on both occasions, but the third time was the charm as they teamed up for a decisive victory in last week’s Gary Budahn Trot.

“It was just a case of some bad luck in those first two starts,” Kennedy noted. “She has a tendency to run in and in the first one she just didn’t have enough room and jumped it off. The next time the gate was a little too slow and she made a break at the start.”

There were certainly no such troubles in the Budahn Final, as Kennedy was able to leave alertly with Dougs Hobby Horse from their cozy rail draw to push the early issue, settled into a tracking trip behind favored Silverlode and then ignited in the stretch for the four-length score.

“I know she had the early speed to take advantage of the inside post and I pushed her out of there to get a good position,” Kennedy said. “She was on her game, and my only concern was to take her out a bit on the turn to make sure she had plenty of room.”

This was the third win from five starts at the meet for Dougs Hobby Horse, who races for Bertrand and her namesake and breeder Doug Flores. She established her lifetime mark of 1:56 1/5 when she captured a conditioned event here last month.

Interestingly, she is a daughter of Claudius Augustus, who carried the banner of Gary Budahn during his racing days, which included several impressive miles over this track.

“It was an honor to win a race named after such an excellent vet and horseman as Gary Budahn,” Kennedy said after posing for pictures in the winner’s circle.