Trained by Keith Bennett, the 6-year-old Tale of the Cat horse won his fourth consecutive race, all at the Phoenix track. Bone claimed Relato Del Gato from trainer Kevin Lewis for $10,000 at Turf Paradise on Nov. 17. The dark bay Kentucky bred has not lost since, winning his four races by a combined 15 1/2 lengths.
Relato Del Gato enjoyed a seven-pound advantage over the top-weighted Sailors Sunset (123), who was further hindered when he dwelt at the start and stumbled a couple of strides out of the gate for jockey Scott Stevens. Sailors Sunset finished well to edge Family Guy for second by a half-length.
The winning time in the six-furlong Gold Cup was an eye-opening 1:07 3/5, just under a second off the track record of 1:06 3/5 set by G Malleah in 1995.
Breaking from the rail, Relato Del Gato was pressed hard during an opening quarter mile of :21 1/5 by Snowbound Halo, who lugged out badly on the turn after a half-mile in :42 3/5. Relato Del Gato opened a three-length lead approaching the stretch and was not seriously threatened through the lane while drifting out late.
Winning his first stakes race, Relato Del Gato improved to 7-6-3 in 31 starts, but he has now won five of 11 tries at Turf Paradise. He earned $60,000 Saturday and has now banked $128,646 in his career. Cypress Farms 1991 bred Relato Del Gato, who is out the Topsider mare Sole.
He paid $24.20, $8.20, and $5. The grade III winner Sailors Sunset, making his first appearance since a sixth-place finish in Santa Anita's Malibu (gr. I) Dec. 26, returned $2.80 and $2.40, completing a $81.40 exacta. Family Guy, ridden by Leslie Mawing, was $3.60 to show.