Shotgun Hottie Scores 8-1 Upset in Molly Pitcher

“She ran so well in her last start here,” trainer Cherie DeVaux said.

Shotgun Hottie made it two consecutive stakes victories at Monmouth Park by triumphing in the $500,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) over Le Da Vida and favored Search Results July 22 at the New Jersey oval.

The 4-year-old daughter of Gun Runner, coming off a dominant 5 1/2 length victory in the Lady’s Secret Stakes June 10 at Monmouth, had a rough start in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher, falling behind the pack into last place. Meanwhile, Brendan Walsh trainee Loved darted to the lead entering the first of two turns and set fractions of 23.96, :47.71, and 1:11.76.

Shotgun Hottie would take her first lead in early stretch in a rally from fifth that brought her into a three-wide tussle with Loved and Search Results, the 2022 Molly Pitcher winner.

Down the lane, Le Da Vida , trained by Ignacio Correas, made her presence felt by passing Loved to join Search Results and Shotgun Hottie, but Shotgun Hottie had enough left to triumph by a half-length. She completed 1 1/16 miles in :1:43.43, paying $18.40 to win.

La De Vida ran second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Search Results in third.

Shotgun Hottie, underneath jockey Paco Lopez, gave the jockey his second victory of the day after winning an earlier allowance race Saturday aboard Forever Souper.

“I loved my position today. My position was great. But I never expected it to happen like that,” Lopez said of rallying from fifth. “I got lucky today. I had to wait outside. When we reached the final turn I just let her go.

“Cherie DeVaux told me she was ready today. The last time I rode her nobody wanted the lead so I put her on the lead. Today I had to wait a lot more.”

“She ran so well in her last start here,” Devaux said. “She stayed here and I have to give a great amount of credit to (trainer) Dan Ward and his team because they’ve kept her since she ran here the first time and helped me (with) training her. So he and his team have been fantastic and Dan has been in contact with me every day about how she’s been doing and she’s been training really well. And (I’m) just so pleased for her and her owners.”

Shotgun Hottie, owned by Omar Aldabbagh and Jeff Ganje, has raced from 2021-23 and improved her record to 5-4-2 in 15 starts. She earned her third victory of the year in five starts and boosted her career earnings to $770,607.

Two years ago, Ganje purchased her for $45,000 from the Gene Recio consignment at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.

Bred in Kentucky by Vincent Colbert, Shotgun Hottie is the first stakes winner produced from the unraced Malibu Moon mare Re Entry .Four of the dam’s seven foals have raced, with three victorious. Her unraced foals include a 2-year-old Palace Malice filly named Hurrican Hottie, a yearling Echo Town colt, and an Irish Surf filly born this year.