'Cat' Hopes to Pounce Again in Oaklawn BC Stakes

My Trusty Cat, impressive winner of a local allowance test in her first start of 2004, hopes to continue the momentum in the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Oaklawn Park. Among the challengers in the March 13 event is Spectacular Lisa, two-for-two in stakes this year.

The stakes is one of two on the weekend at Oaklawn, which has about another month left in its 100th anniversary season. The March 14 program will feature the $100,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) for 4-year-olds and up. It's a local prep for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) on April 3.

The Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles, lured a field of 10. The race serves as the local prep for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), also scheduled for April 3 to help kick off the Racing Festival of the South.

Carl Pollard's My Trusty Cat has four wins in 15 career starts, and she's a two-time stakes winner. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Tale of the Cat won the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn in 2003, and as a 2-year-old in 2002, was victorious in the Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino.

My Trusty Cat, trained by David Vance, was only one-for-eight in 2003, but she returned in a big way this season. In her lone start, My Trusty Cat, wearing blinkers again, flew home from last to win a Feb. 19 allowance test at Oaklawn by two widening lengths. That was at six furlongs, but her Honeybee win was at 1 1/16 miles.

The Oaklawn Breeders' Cup drew a contentious field and appears wide open. The highweight is Spectacular Lisa, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old Formal Gold filly owned by Green River Farms and trained by Mike Stidham. In two starts this year, Spectacular Lisa won the Feb. 21 Chou Croute Handicap at Fair Grounds, and the Jan. 17 Sam Houston Distaff Handicap at Sam Houston Race Park.

Spectacular Lisa has won six of 12 career starts. Last year, she won the Dream On Stakes at Calder Race Course, and her last three victories have come at the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup distance.

Here's the field, in post-position order, with jockeys and weights:

1 Small Promises Roman Chapa 113 pounds
2 Mayo On The Side Tim Doocy 113
3 My Trusty Cat Justin Shepherd 113
4 Spectacular Lisa Robby Albarado 119
5 Took Out Don Pettinger 113
6 Keys To The Heart Terry Thompson 117
7 There Runs Hattie John McKee 113
8 Golden Sonata Carlos Marquez Jr. 117
9 Drexel Monorail Jamie Theriot 117
10 La Reason Joe Johnson 113

The purse includes $100,000 from the Breeders' Cup for Breeders' Cup-eligible horses only. The stakes, the 10th race on an 11-race program, is scheduled for 5:29 p.m. CST.

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