Cicada: Carolyn's Cat Goes Gate-To-Wire
Photo: Brandon Branson/ Adam Coglianese
Carolyn's Cat and Alan Garcia cruise to victory in the Cicada Stakes.
Carolyn’s Cat won the expected early speed duel from Dill Or No Dill and then never looked back, going wire-to-wire for a 3 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) March 15 on the inner dirt course at Aqueduct.

Owned by William Warren Jr., Carolyn’s Cat completed the six-furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.16 under Alan Garcia. It was the first graded stakes triumph for the 3-year-old daughter of Forestry, and her second consecutive win.

Carolyn’s Cat entered the Cicada off a five-length victory in the Jan. 31 T Storm Stakes at Aqueduct, where she got the best of Winning Move Stable’s Dill Or No Dill. One race prior, Dill Or No Dill defeated Carolyn’s Cat by 5 1/2 lengths in the Ruthless Stakes.

Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Carolyn’s Cat, and Gary Contessa, Dill Or No Dill’s conditioner, both emphasized the importance of getting the early lead in the Cicada. Once Carolyn’s Cat won that battle, the tough part was over.

Bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, Carolyn’s Cat broke from post four and jumped to the front. She ran the first quarter in :22.26, with Dill Or No Dill, under Ramon Dominguez, stalking the pace. Throbbin’ Heart bobbled badly at the start, nearly throwing Stewart Elliott to the ground. She never recovered and was not a factor.

Contessa had the other two fillies in the five-horse field, True Intentions and Ready for Fortune, who were coupled for owner Dennis Narlinger.

Carolyn’s Cat continued her narrow advantage through a half-mile in :45.05 and opened up by two at the top of the lane. Dill Or No Dill could not keep pace and began to fall back as they entered the final furlong. The only threat was from Ready for Fortune, who came with a mild three-wide rally, but the More Than Ready  filly was no match for Carolyn’s Cat.

“When my filly broke, that other horse (Throbbin’ Heart) came over a little bit and my horse came in a little bit,” Garcia said. “After that, today my filly was much the best.  My filly was comfortable.”

Ready for Fortune finished second under Mario Pino, 4 1/4 lengths in front of Dill Or No Dill. True Intentions was fourth.

Going off as the 7-5 favorite, Carolyn’s Cat paid $5.40 and $2.90 (There was no show wagering). The exacta (4-1A) returned $15.60.

Carolyn’s Cat won for the third time in six lifetime starts. Out of the Meadowlake mare People’s Princess, she was a $650,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2006 Select yearling sale.

“Mr. Warren has been very patient with this filly, and he told us all along that this would be a graded stakes filly,” said Artie Magnuson, assistant to McLaughlin, who was in his hometown of Lexington on Saturday, serving as grand marshall of the town’s St. Patrick’s Parade. “She’s grown up and matured over the last couple of months and she’s turned into the kind of horse Mr. Warren thought she would be. It looks like speed is her weapon.”

Psycho D J was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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