Cat Cay Rallies to Shirley Jones Victory

Cat Cay rallied from last to nip Raging Fever at the wire to win Friday's $100,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. Under Pat Day, the Claude "Shug" McGaughey-trained 5-year-old mare completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.31 on a fast track.

With the win, Cat Cay accomplished what her dam, Cadillacing, did not. Cadillacing, a full sister of Easy Goer, finished second in the 1988 Shirley Jones. The win also avenges Cat Cay's second-place finish to Raging Fever in the First Lady Handicap (gr. III) last month.

Cat Cay earned $60,000 for the win, her eighth in 21 career starts and third in a graded stakes. The Ogden Phipps homebred daughter of Pleasant Colony won both the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) and Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) to complete her season.

Raging Fever dueled with Tugger through scorching fractions early on as Cat Cay settled well off the pace. Tugger soon tired leaving Raging Fever on the lead. The Mark Hennig trainee led by 1 1/2 lengths at the stretch call but Cat Cay closed quickly in to make the lead in the final the strides.

Vague Memory, an 85-1 longshot, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Raging Fever. Celtic Melody, Irish Fantasy, Superduper Miss, and Tugger completed the order of finish.

Cat Cay returned $5.40, $2.40, and $2.20. 6-5 favorite Raging Fever paid $2.40 and $2.40. Vague Memory returned $5.20 to show. The winning exacta paid $11.20. (Chart, Equibase)

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