Fog City Stable's D'Wildcat settled behind the early pace, moved outside approaching the stretch, and drew off to win the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. III) by 10 1/2 lengths in a dominating performance Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Under jockey Corey Nakatani, the 3-year-old colt completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.25 on a fast track.
Longshot Liberty Township set the early pace while tracked by graded stakes winners Fistfite and Yonaguska. Yonaguska moved his head in front on the second turn as Fistfite began to tire. As Liberty Township fought back along the inside approaching the stretch, D'Wildcat loomed up on the outside and quickly kicked clear, drawing away in the final furlong. Tarek finished second, 1 3/4 lenghts ahead of Yonaguska. Liberty Township was another 2 1/4 lengths back in fourth, followed by Fistfite and Sparkling Sabre.
D'Wildcat (Forest Wildcat -- D'Enough, D'Accord) was a $600,000 2-year-old purchase at the March 2000 Ocala Breeders' Sale. In his most recent start prior to his Swale romp, D'Wildcat finished third in Early Flyer's San Vicente (gr. II), beaten by 2 1/4 lengths after pressing the early pace. D'Wildcat earned $90,000 for the win, his second in four career starts. D'Wildcat is trained by Bob Hess Jr. and was bred in Kentucky by New Farm.
Asked about the Kentucky Derby, D'wildcat's trainer Bob Hess said: "The only Derby he'll be running in at this time is the Lone Star Derby."
The Lone Star Derby is April 7, but Hess also was considering the Lafayette Stakes on April 11 for his colt's next start.
Sent off at 23-10, D'Wildcat returned $6.60, $4.20, and $2.10. Tarek paid $5.20 and $2.20. Odds-on favorite Yonaguska was worth $2.10 to show. The winning exacta combination returned $26. (Chart, Equibase