Katdogawn, a mare that had lost 10 races in a row in spite of some top efforts against leading Southern California company, closed strongly under left-handed urging from Jerry Bailey to defeat 8-5 favorite Valentine Dancer in Monday's $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Lone Star Park turf.
Things went right for the 5-year-old English-bred daughter of Bahhare, teamed with Bailey for the first time. She was able to save ground off the rail after being caught wide early, then shifted outward for the stretch run. Katdogawn collared Valentine Dancer, ridden by Jon Court, inside the sixteenth pole and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
The Chilean-bred entry of Voz De Colegiala and pacesetter Paz Ciudadana finished third and fourth, respectively, after leading to the furlong pole when Valentine Dancer took over.
The time for the one-mile event on a yielding course was 1:39 2/5.
Katdogawn, in sixth, and Valentine Dancer, fourth early, both waited patiently through fractions of :24 2/5, :49 2/5 and 1:14 2/5 before forcing the issue.
It was Katdogawn's first win in four starts for trainer Wally Dollase, who took over training duties from James Cassidy at the beginning of the year. She last won the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in March 2004 for Cassidy on a disqualification of Megahertz. Jim Ford Inc. and John Cuchna own the bay, who was produced by the Trempolino mare Trempkate.
Katdogawn, the second choice in the field of 11, paid $7, $3.20, and $2.60. The millionaire Valentine Dancer returned $3 and $2.40, while Voz De Colegiala, like the first finishers based in California, was $3.20 to show.
The winner was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Jenny Wiley (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland April 17. Her seventh win from 28 lifetime starts was worth $120,000, pushing her earnings to $760,325. Katdogawn also has seven seconds and five thirds, almost entirely in graded stakes.
After Paz Ciudadana came Marwood, Blue Song, Bonnie J., My Misty Princess, Queena Corrina, Tara's Touch, and Yoursmineours. Janeian scratched.