More than a Cheer: ‘Hotty Toddy’ making waves on horse racing circuit

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Hotty Toddy has become a recognizable phrase across the country thanks to Ole Miss fans far and wide, but one fine filly has taken things a step further.

Hotty Toddy, the four-year-old racehorse owned by Cana Belew, has recently made a splash in her last two races at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Belew said naming the horse Hotty Toddy was a no-brainer.

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“We’re huge Ole Miss Rebel fans in my family, so of course we would have a horse named Hotty Toddy,” Belew said. “My daughter is a sophomore at the university, and my parents live up there as well, so Oxford’s sort of my hometown. When this one came along, I knew her name was Hotty Toddy and she was going to be a winner.”

With $41,000 in total career earnings, Hotty Toddy is expected to break into the ‘big time’ within the next couple of years, thanks to her trainer, Ralph Nicks. Nicks, who is a Multiple Graded Stakes Winning trainer, has worked with Hotty Toddy from the beginning.

For Belew, her significant other Marc and their children, racing is a family affair. The family is part of the Palm Beach Racing team, and Belew said most race days when everyone is in town, they can be found mingling with the horses and their jockeys on the paddock before the races.

She also said they make sure to don their Ole Miss attire so Hotty Toddy knows she’s loved and others know which horse to bet on.

“When she’s racing, we all wear our Ole Miss gear and and chant ‘Hotty Toddy,’” she said. “People see us with our Hotty Toddy gear on, and they tell me, ‘You people are pretty excited about this horse, so we’re going to put some money on it.’”

It’s a tactic that’s worked in Hotty Toddy’s favor. On April 29, she and jockey Tyler Gaffalione started in 6th place and beat out 10 competitors.

Hotty Toddy went along saving ground in the middle of the field for a half-mile, came off the rail and crept closer to the leaders late in the far turn. She took charge when the racers were three wide just past the eighth pole and drew away from the pack for the win.

Watching from Oxford was her daughter, Olivia and her friends, something Belew said proves two things: Hotty Toddy is destined for greatness and horse racing is a family affair.

“Olivia had all her friends gathered together and when Hotty Toddy won the race, and I could hear the screaming coming from all her friends in Oxford saying, ‘Hotty Toddy just won!’” she said. “We do love horse racing in our family, so whether we’ve got a horse racing or not, we love to go to the track. It’s a great way to spend a day, watching the kids with the horses. These thoroughbreds are gorgeous, majestic animals.”

According to her owner, Hotty Toddy is just getting started.