Spotted Cat Rallies To Win Woodford

Woodford Turf Classic (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
CD- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
May 6, 2017

The rain came, and with it, one of our storylines was out the window as Antelope Storm, last year’s winner, would scratch out of the race.  He has not been one to like off-tracks, so not many people were surprised by that news.  That led to our other storyline, that being Spotted Cat simply being masterful on off-tracks.  Don’t take that as meaning that needed it to be soft today, as his form in his last race, winning the Pan American, showed that he’s every bit as dangerous on firm turf.  However, Blushing Meadows had to be liking the weather at CD, as he would win three graded races at CD today, including the Woodford Turf Classic.   This is his first win in the stake, and the second in three years for jockey I Ortiz Jr.  Congratulations to the winners!  The time of the race was 1:50.55, here’s how it went down!

(½ Mile- :48.56)- The race begins with Lunar Blaze (John Henry) and Ideal Trinity (Kopites) being the quickest of everyone out of the gate, and they make their way down the frontstretch battling it out.  The Perfect Day (Aer Stables) looked to have some thoughts about stalking them immediately, but backed out of that when Lunar Blaze simply began to pour it on like the morning rain moving into the turn.   At a half mile, he had checked out to a nearly three length lead as Ideal Trinity simply had no interest in going that fast so soon.  The Perfect Day settled into a spot two lengths behind him, and ahead of the rest of the pack.  Not surprisingly, Spotted Cat (Blushing Meadows) was one of them at the back, but both Big Daddy Z (Maxmillion Farm) and Aggravation (Mb Stables) ran with him, eight lengths from the front.

(3/4 Mile- 1:12.80)- Very little has changed down the backstretch.  Lunar Blaze is still out there setting the track on fire and leading by about three lengths.  No one has shown any interest in running with him, as Ideal Trinity remains second, and the gap to third place The Perfect Day has not changed, either.   Some movement towards to back as Spotted Cat and Aggravation move a couple lengths ahead of Big Daddy Z, but neither are pushing to the lead quite yet.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)– It looks like it might be over.  Lunar Blaze has been allowed to get out onto the uncontested lead, and he is simply too good of a horse for anyone to reel in now, right?  At the top of the stretch, he now leads by nearly four lengths.  Ideal Trinity is still second, but not moving forward.  On the outside, Aggravation has moved up nicely, taking over third from The Perfect Day.   Back in fifth, and six and a half lengths back was Spotted Cat. The lane on the rail was clear, but how could he ever make up so much ground in so little time?  Big Daddy Z trailed, but had a good view in front of him of the run that was about to leave everyone in the grandstands in complete awe.

(Finish- 1:50.55)- I can’t believe what I just saw.  Even with one full furlong to go, Spotted Cat still had 4 1/4 lengths to make up, and Lunar Blaze surely isn’t some slouch out there on the front end.  But the cat was moving, and responding with an amazing all-out drive on the rail for jockey I Ortiz Jr.   Absolutely, positively, stunning.  If you have not watched this race on the viewer yet, fire it up and enjoy this amazing performance.  Spotted Cat was dominant in the stretch and would get the win, and almost by a full length!  Also, let’s not lose the run of Aggravation to get third in the midst of this, he too, was impressive.  Lunar Blaze helped out by tiring quite a bit in the stretch, but it took special runs to catch him, and to almost catch him.   Ideal Trinity and The Perfect Day had nothing for the stretch, and are fourth and fifth.   Eventually, Big Daddy Z crossed the line as well for sixth.

About the winner: Spotted Cat, trained by Blushing Meadows and ridden by I Oritz Jr, is a five year old horse by Ultimate Dogma and out of Aetna. He was bred in Louisiana by Rousee as a third quarter two year old and was acquired by Blushing Meadows after just one race, in December 2014 private sales, for $590.000.  It was a risk then, and it has certainly paid off now!  Spotted Cat now has 8 wins in 25 career starts, and now rides a modest two-race win streak.  His career earnings sit at $1,977.600.  Congratulations to the connections!

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Spotted Cat Blushing Meadows Ortiz I Jr 3.15   11/2 1:50.55  
  Lunar Blaze John Henry Velazquez J R 7.35   21/4 1:50.69  
  Aggravation Mb Stables Albarado R J 5.85   33 1:50.78  
  Ideal Trinity Kopites Desormeaux K J 6.75   41 1:51.44  
  The Perfect Day Aer Stables Leparoux J R 2.20   53 1:51.79  
  Big Daddy Z Maxmillion Farm Smith M E 3.30   6 1:52.42  

Track: Soft

Time: :482  1:124  1:373  1:502

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Spotted Cat 8.30 4.00 5.60
2 – Lunar Blaze   6.60 7.30
6 – Aggravation     4.00

$1 Exacta: 1 – 2 Paid 150.50

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 2 – 6 Paid 506.10

Scratched: Antelope Storm

Winner picked by NS

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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