Smith Caps Big Day as Katdogawn Wins Dahlia
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 12/20/2003 8:42:51 PM
Last Updated: 12/21/2003 5:07:20 PM

Jockey Mike Smith completed a sweep of Hollywood Park's rich co-features Saturday when he brought Katdogawn from well back in the stretch to hold off Personal Legend by a nose in a furious finish of the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) on the grass Saturday.

Smith won the $376,000 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) earlier aboard Michael Tabor's Lion Heart. The Hall of Fame rider won three races on the Hollywood card, giving him 19 for the fall meet, which concludes Sunday.

"This is a great way to finish off the meet," Smith said.

Katdogawn, a 3-year-old English-bred bay filly by Bahhare who was facing older fillies and mares for the first time, mowed down her rivals to get the lead in deep stretch. She dug in powerfully in the final stages as Personal Legend and jockey Alex Solis flew late to just miss while cutting into the lead with every stride. The final time was 1:41 2/5 for the 1 1/16-mile test on firm sod.

Personal Legend's Edmund Gann-owned entrymate, Betty's Wish (the entry was favored at 4-5) was third after encountering traffic problems in the stretch while rallying nicely between horses in deep stretch. Moscow Burning held on for fourth.

"She ran dynamite," Smith said. "I knew to beat Frankel's fillies, I would have to cut corners and hope for the best. It worked out great. If she tried any harder, her ears would disappear.

"I'd ridden this filly before. I won two out of three on her and probably should have won the day I got beat, but didn't have room and when I did get loose, it was too late."

James Cassidy trained the winner for owners Jim Ford Inc. and partners.

Hoh Buzzard, breaking from the outside post in the field of nine, set the fractions of :23 4/5, :47 2/5 and 1:11 with with Voz De Colegiala and Moscow Burning in hot pursuit.

As the front-runners gave way, Smith, in sixth position, found room between horses in the stretch to emerge with the lead, only to be quickly tackled by Personal Legend, who came on Katdogawn's outside but could not get by.

Katdogawn, at 7-1 the third choice among 10 rivals, collected her first win since taking the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar in August by two lengths. After a disappointing seventh in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 24, she took a break, returning with an encouraging rally while finishing second in the Skirball on the Hollywood lawn Nov. 23.

The victory was Katdogawn's fourth in 10 United States starts since the filly was transferred here from England earlier this year. Overall, she 5-3-2 from 15 tries with total earnings of $330,645.

She was bred by Mrs. W.H. Gibson Fleming and is out of the dam Trempkate, by Trempolino.

Katdogawn paid $17.80, $5.20 and $5.40. Personal Legend and Betty's Wish, who was 1 1/2 lengths behind in third, returned $2.60 and $2.60 jointly. The $2 exacta was worth $45.60.

Hoh Buzzard was fifth, followed by Blind Ambition, Valdoura, Voz De Colegiala, Innit and Adalgisa. Atlantic Ocean was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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