Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cat finally 'Claws' her way to victory

When Cat Has Claws missed second by a neck in her debut at age 2, about four lengths back from victory among special weights at Arlington, I figured it was only a matter of time before she broke her maiden. And I suppose I was right.

The Illinois-bred filly who I tipped on this blog as a 2-year-old prospect at the sales didn't start again until she was 3. A fourth-place finish among special weights in June sent her into maiden-claiming company. In her second start for a tag, Cat Has Claws finished third again, this time beaten a neck and a nose by Hawk's Girl and Lindseytothemax. She also finished fourth in her most recent start, behind another sales selection of mine, Sea Why.

On Saturday, the filly who likes to get her photo snapped for the placing judges, finally had her picture taken in the winner's circle. Again, after a photo-finish was sorted out for the order of finish.

Sent off (to my great surprise) as the 4/5 favorite, Cat Has Claws was the only filly able to close into the glacial pace set by 34-1 long-shot Bob's Hilda, who got away to a six-length lead despite meandering around the Arlington Park Polytrack in 23.45 and 47.58. Cat Has Claws got up by a nose after a long and determined drive under Jesus Castanon. Lindseytothemax was another three-quarters back in third.

Cat Has Claws is owned by Joseph W. and Betty Woit, and trained by Roger Brueggemann. The bay filly by Harlan's Holiday-Summertime Blues, by Chimes Band, was bred in Illinois by Carson Springs Farm and Scott Goldsher. With a win and two shows from six starts, she has now earned $14,523.

I selected Cat Has Claws as Hip 517 from the 2010 Ocala April sale of 2-year-olds in training. The filly breezed 10.1 and two of her three elder siblings were solid performers: Chillin Villian (Good and Tough) has now won seven of 57 and was stakes-placed among IL-breds at 2 for $172,231; Jitterburg Blues has five wins and 10 seconds from 24 lifetime starts and hit the board in IL-bred stakes company last year at age 5, for $212,741. Though only a modest winner of two races from nine starts, Summertime Blues was a half-sister to nine-time stakes-winner TIC N TIN ($771,570) and two-time Illinois-bred champion PRETTY JENNY ($534,262).

Cat Has Claws failed to sell at OBSAPR when the top bid of $37,000 failed to meet the reserve price set by consignor Wavertree Stables.

With her win Saturday, Cat Has Claws became the 107th prospect to break maiden worldwide from my 187-horse list of sales tips. That's 57.2 percent of all selections, a figure that shortly after would rise.

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