Edward Evans' homebred Cat's At Home earned his second consecutive graded stakes victory at Aqueduct Saturday, edging pacesetting longshot Top Official in the stretch to earn a half-length win in the $190,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III). Boston Party came home third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Top Official.
Under jockey Filiberto Leon, Cat's At Home completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.92 on a fast track and paid $15.40, $8.70, and $6.
"I wanted to keep him outside of horses," Leon said. "He put in a real explosive kick around the far turn. He had to work real hard to get to Top Official. He surged ahead of him, and it was a big effort from my horse."
Top Official returned $21.60 and $10.40 and completed the $289.50 exacta. Boston Party was worth $6 to show.
The win comes on the heels of Cat's At Home's victory in the Westchester Handicap (gr. III) earlier this month at Aqueduct. His 2 1/2-length victory in the one-mile Westchester was his first in a graded stakes. The 4-year-old son of Tabasco Cat has won seven of 16 career races for trainer Mark Hennig, including the listed Patterson Stakes. Cat's At Home earned $120,000 for the win.
"This is a son of Tabasco Cat, so he came along a little slowly with time. He's finicky," said Hennig. "He looks the part and he trains the part. I knew he would have his best years as he got older. We have a lot of options with him, but nothing specific with him at the moment."
Windrush finished fourth, followed by Turnofthecentury, favorite Ground Storm, American Halo, and Nite Dreamer. (Chart, Equibase