Ministers Wild Cat became the third stakes winner produced by champion Hollywood Wildcat and stamped himself as a possible Kentucky Derby threat with a 1 1/4-length win in Sunday's $66,950 Golden State Mile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Under Kent Desormeaux, the son of Deputy Minister completed the distance in 1:36.89 on a fast track.
"We planned to let him experience some competition and that's what he got today," said trainer Neil Drysdale. "He seemed to be gawking a bit when he made the lead and Kent had to remind him what to do. He jumped the tire tracks and wound up on the wrong lead (left lead) but was good enough to win anyway."
Desormeaux said the trip was a learning experience for the colt, but that he still has some learning to do.
"I think we accomplished our goals and we're going home happy," said Desormeaux. "We got him to go two turns and he learned some things today. He was gawking and dawdling in the lane and not laying his body down. When he saw the tire tracks (left by the starting gate in deep stretch), he jumped over them. That's all about maturing and next time he'll know what to expect. I think the most encouraging thing about him is his cat-like agility and his speed."
Winning Stripes finished second, three lengths ahead of Clover Situation. Es Special, Always Remember, Natural Balance, and Demon Warlock completed the order of finish.
Ministers Wild Cat earned $33,650 for owner-breeders Marjorie and Irving Cowan for his second win from three lifetime starts.
Hollywood Wildcat's (Kris. S.--Miss Wildcatter, by Mr. Prospector) other stakes winners were Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner War Chant (by Danzig) and Double Cat (by Storm Cat), who won the Queen of the Green Handicap at Turf Paradise.