Freshman sire Forest Wildcat was represented by his first winner as a sire Thursday when Strait Cat won a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs. Under jockey Joe Judice, Strait Cat pressed early leader Last American before drawing off to win the 5 1/2-furlong race by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:05.04. Strait Cat (Forest Wildcat--Castle Creek, by Sharpen Up), a Robert Holthus trainee, was making his debut in the race. He was claimed from Kenneth English and Alan Braun by new owner Gerald O'Meara. Strait Cat was bred in Kentucky by Foxfield.
In a four-year career, Forest Wildcat (Storm Cat--Victoria Beauty, by Bold Native) won nine of 20 starts, including the Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) and the Finger Lakes Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III). On two occasions in 1996, he equaled Pimlico's track record for six furlongs. He was bred in Florida by Ocala Stud Farms and retired with earnings of $478,862. Forest Wildcat stands for an advertised fee of $25,000 at Brookdale Farm near Versailles, Kentucky. (Chart, Equibase