HOT SHOT KID A BIG SHOT IN DERBY

Hot Shot Kid as a foal

BY JIM WELLS

Warren Bush is an attorney in Wall Lake, Iowa, a handy-man lawyer, handling just about anything that comes his way. He is also a part-time magistrate of Sac County. He is a husband, a father and a grandfather.

For a couple of minutes on Saturday, his self-identification will shrink to one thing and one thing only: Horse owner.

Namely, the owner of Hot Shot Kid, a three-year gelding who has all the markings of the next Minnesota-bred luminary, a star in the making, a horse constructed like certain automobiles from the late 1950s and early 1960s_ with push button drive.

Granted, it might be quite too soon to plan a coronation ceremony, but at least for Saturday afternoon, at least preceding the $85,000 Minnesota Derby, Hot Shot Kid is the horse to beat, a decided morning line favorite to win the mile and 70 yard event.

Why such enthusiasm?

Here is probably all you need to know:

Hot Shot Kid has been on the board in eight of his nine career races. He is on a four-race winning streak, and won for fun in his most recent out, on July 4 in the $50,000 Victor S Myers Stakes in Shakopee.

Rider Alex Canchari has been on the Kid for seven of his nine races and all four of his victories. He had this to say after the stakes victory on the Fourth of July:

“He’s the best horse I’ve been on here….ever,’’ Canchari said. “He does it all so easily. A real pro.’’

Bush couldn’t agree more.

“He’s certainly the best one I’ve raised.’’ That includes a horse named Sugar Shock, winner of the Fantasy stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Hot Shot Kid was foaled in Minnesota after Bush made the decision to include the Gopher state in his plans because of the agreement between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community at Mystic Lake that enhanced and stabilized purses locally.

“I was either going to foal in Iowa or in Minnesota,’’ Bush said. Once, he found a place to foal his dam, at the Hilgers’ Bleu Valley Farm, the decision was made.

That would be Jeff and Deb Hilger, who previously operated the farm in Grant Township for just such purposes in addition to their own breeding and raising.

Deb Hilger recalled what she thought of Hot Shot Kid in the days after his birth.

“What I remember,’’ she said, “is that it was a very fast but normal delivery. He was very strong and was up standing in a very short time. He was a strong, good looking baby who looked like a champion even then. He was big, smart and created no problems at all. He had the look even back then.’’

Bush needed a trainer as well and was introduced to Mac Robertson through a friend. “When the deal was made with Mystic Lake, we decided that (Minnesota) was a good place to foal some mares,’’ Bush said. “I’d been at this for a while and met Mac through a friend of mine he used to train for.’’

Somewhere along the line, Robertson decided that Canchari was the right rider for the horse based on how “they got along,’’ on how the rider seemed to understand this particular horse.

A son of Majestic Warrior, Hot Shot Kid is from the Officer mare Our Sweet Mary B, named for one of Warren and Linda Bush’s two granddaugthers. Bush says he has found a way to name many of their horses, including broodmares, either after family members or something with which a number of them might identify. He has cousins just across the border in Minnesota, for example, an area in which he spent many of his summers as a youngster and honors them with a horse named Sioux Valley. “I used to spend the summers baling hay there and earning money. I have nothing but fond memories of the place,’’ he said.

And Hot Shot Kid?

As a teenager, Bush worked on a farm in Pennsylvania and one of his relatives was a partner in a horse farm with a show horse named Dinner Bell that competed and typically lost to a horse named Hot Shot Kid.

“It was the best horse around there,’’ he recalled, “and that seemed like a fitting name for this horse.’’

Hot shot Kid will break from the five hole in a seven-horse field that includes Fireman Oscar, trained by Dave Van Winkle and the winner of last year’s Northern Lights Futurity.

Shipmate won the Northern Lights Debutante as a two-year-old and will make her first start of 2017 in Saturday’s $85,000 Minnesota Oaks. She is trained by Karl Broberg and was bred and is owned by Cheryl Sprick and Richard Bremer of Lake City. The field includes the second and third place horses from the 2017 Frances Genter Stakes, Double Bee Sting and Pinup Girl.

The $35,000 Cash Caravan for quarter horses and the $40,000 MTA Sales Graduate Futurity are also part of Saturday’s card.

Meanwhile, the Bush family will be at Canterbury in full force, including their five grandchildren. They have reserved a cabana and will be joined by a number of friends as well.

The Bushs also race at Prairie Meadows outside Des Moines, but have come to regard Canterbury as a home track as well.

All because of a horse named Hot Shot Kid, an odds-on shot to put his name alongside a list of others that have won the Minnesota Derby.

 

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