By Karen M. Johnson
The $75,000 Ruthless at Aqueduct Jan. 6 could be the coming-out party for Carolyn’s Cat, who is coming off a gutsy maiden win.
Six 3-year-old fillies were entered in the six-furlong Ruthless. Expect the End, not listed among the original nominees, was supplemented for $750, and is the likely favorite.
Carolyn’s Cat, a $650,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sale, made it to the winner’s circle in her third start. In her debut Aug. 30 at Saratoga, the daughter of Forestry finished seventh. She had the misfortune that afternoon to face a tough field of maidens including the winner, Indian Blessing, who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Carolyn’s Cat, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and owned by William Warren Jr., followed with a fifth-place finish in October at Belmont Park. She broke through the maiden ranks on Nov. 18 at Aqueduct by winning a 5 1/2-furlong race by 1 1/4 lengths. On her way to her maiden score, Carolyn’s Cat bobbled at the start before forcing the pace through fractions of :22.30 and :45.60.
"She was down inside and was very game; I thought she ran well," said McLaughlin, who was named an Eclipse Award finalist Jan. 4. "She’s a decently bred filly, and we are happy to have her in the barn. In her first start, she hooked up with some good horses, and most of my (first-time starters) need a run or two."
Alan Garcia rides Carolyn’s Cat from post two.
Expect the End, trained by Rick Dutrow Jr., is the likely New York-bred champion juvenile filly of 2007, with her restricted wins in the Maid of the Mist, Joseph A. Gimma, and Jena Jena Stakes. She is coming off a fifth-place finish in the two-turn Demoiselle (gr.II) on Nov. 29, and should relish the return to sprinting.
Gary Contessa, the leading trainer in New York for the past two years, has entered the speedy Dill Or No Dill. A daughter of Evansville Slew, Dill Or No Dill began her career with trainer Joe Petalino in Texas, where she won a maiden race at Lone Star Park and a small stakes at Retama Park. In the Ruthless, she seeks her first win for Contessa and owners Winning Move Stable and Ravenwood Stable. She was ambitiously placed in her initial start for Contessa in the Frizette (gr.I) and finished seventh. Dill Or No Dill followed with a second-place finish in the Dec. 6 Xtra Heat Stakes, which came on the heels of a two-month layoff.
Home Crowd returns to an easier spot after a drubbing in the Demoiselle for Paraneck Stable and trainer Louis Albertrani. Home Crowd, a daughter of Came Home, easily won her career debut at Aqueduct in October. She followed with a third-place finish after a rough trip in an allowance race. She was placed second after being knocked off stride in the stretch.
Trainer Linda Rice entered Psycho D J and Noble Fire.$75,000 Ruthless S. (Race 8, 3:49 PM, six furlongs for 3-year-old fillies, dirt (inner track)