Hot Seat, who finished second to Sharp Azteca in the 2016 City of Laurel Stakes, is standing in Kazakhstan for the 2023 breeding season, the Russian racing news website Hippodrom.ru reports, and his path to get there has dotted points all over the map.
The 10-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song arrived in Kazakhstan in late 2021 after a brief stint at the Swedish stallion operation Hallestorp, where he covered no reported mares. He is standing in Kazakhstan for owner Starykh V.N. at a farm in Esik, located in the country’s southeast corner, near the border with Kyrgyzstan.
Bred in Maryland by Larry Johnson, Hot Seat was a $260,000 purchase by Gary and Mary West at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is out of the stakes-winning Mr. Greeley mare Grecian Wings, whose runners include Grade 3 winner Hard Enough.
Hot Seat was placed in the barn of trainer Jason Servis, but nagging quarter cracks kept him away from the races until September of his 3-year-old season. He made up for lost time once he finally got in the starting gate by winning his first two starts, both at Parx Racing. His debut score was a 13 1/2-length drubbing of a maiden special weight field, and he followed up with a visually impressive seven-length score against allowance company a month later.
In November of his sophomore campaign, Hot Seat tested stakes competition for the first time when he was entered in the listed City of Laurel Stakes at Laurel Park. He finished second behind Sharp Azteca, who was beginning his ascent into regular graded stakes competition, by 5 1/4 lengths and he finished ahead of Rated R Superstar, who has become a seven-figure earner in the midst of his ninth season at the races.
Hot Seat spent 10 months away from the races after the City of Laurel Stakes, before returning to make one final start at Parx, where he finished a game second in an allowance optional claiming race.
After that start, the horse was purchased by Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum and exported to the U.A.E., where he was placed under the shedrow of trainer Nicholas Bachalard. He never made a start for his new connections.
Hot Seat was later acquired by Hamid Khalili’s Decamond Racing, a bloodstock agency active in both the Middle East and Scandinavia, and the horse was relocated to Sweden. He was part of the same purchase and shipment between Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum and Decamond Racing that ultimately led Grade 3 winner Economic Model to stand in Norway. Hot Seat was then spotted by bloodstock agent David Allan’s Allan Bloodlines and purchased on behalf of his Kazakh client in October 2021.
Allan Bloodlines, which has offices in England and South Africa, has been buying and selling for clients in Kazakhstan for over two decades. Among his most notable purchases for owners in that country was Make Memories, a son of Street Cry and the first foal out of Grade 1 winner Winter Memories, who he acquired at the 2017 Tattersalls February Sale as an winless 3-year-old. Make Memories went on to win that year’s Kazakhstan Derby and 2,000 Guineas, and he won six total Group 1 races in that country racing through age six.