Queen Ofthe Catsle earned her first win in a graded stakes race when she ran down pacesetter La Tee in deep stretch to capture Oak Tree’s $111,600 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course Oct. 4.
The winning margin in the 6 1/2-furlong event for fillies and mares was one length. The 4-year-old bay filly earned her third consecutive win and covered the distance in 1:12.84 while ridden for the first time by Mike Smith, who was subbing for out-of-town Victor Espinoza. The latter had handled Queen Ofthe Catsle in her four previous starts, three of them wins.
La Tee, with Jon Court aboard, held second by one-half length over the fast-closing Victorina, ridden by Russell Baze. Silky Smooth, the 5-2 favorite in the field of ten, checked in sixth without mounting a threat.
Trained by Howard Zucker for C. T. Grether Inc., Queen Ofthe Catsle has maintained extremely consistent form while climbing the class ladder. The Maddy was her fifth victory in 12 starts. She has run second five times.
Queen Ofthe Catsle, a homebred daughter of Tale of the Cat , returned $11.20, $5.80 and $4.40. La Tee paid $8.60 and $6. The show price on Victorina was $7.60.
Her biggest career victory was worth $66,960 and elevated Queen Of the Catsle's total to $258,764. She was coming off a one-length win in a division of the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar Sept. 3.
“I had a great trip,” Smith said in the winner’s circle. “We broke in the four-path, and I was able to slide over to the right and then slide to the left as we came down the hill. We were able to cut every corner, and then it opened up for us there at the top of the lane.”
Smith noted that Zucker had warned him against making the lead too soon. “Which she did,” the Hall of Fame jockey added, “but she was good enough to win anyway.”
“She’s a very special filly for us,” remarked Zucker. “This is one of the horses that the late Tom Grether bred, and we love that family. And it’s an honor to win a race named for the great Senator Maddy. He was a good friend, and a great friend of racing. This was a very tough field, and Mike gave her a great ride.”