Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Big Blue Kitten used the 2013 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park to propel his way to victory in back-to-back grade I races, and now looks to the $100,000 Cliff Hanger S (gr. IIIT) Aug. 24 to return to graded victory.
A winner off the layup of the 1 1/16-mile Lure Stakes at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 2—his first start since an eighth-place finish in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT)—the Chad Brown trainee makes his second start of the season against six rivals in Monmouth's Cliff Hanger going 1 1/8 miles.
Big Blue Kitten, a 6-year-old son of Kitten's Joy , rattled off wins in the United Nations and the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) last summer, and was second in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) before his Breeeders' Cup bust. He drew the outside post for the Cliff Hanger under regular rider Joe Bravo and carries 120 pounds.
Highweight in the field is Michael Bruder's Guys Reward, winner of the July 27 Metropolitan Jets Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) at the New Jersey oval. Trained by Dale Romans, the 7-year-old son of Grand Reward gets Paco Lopez in the irons from post 3 under 123 pounds.
The Cliff Hanger will also mark the U.S. debut of Argentinian-bred Calvados, starting in the silks of Sagamore Farm and Mom Celine. The 6-year-old Snipewalk horse is a six-time winner from 21 starts in his native land. Javier Santiago has the mount from the inside, Ignacio Correas trains.
Also of interest is Alto Racing's Winning Cause, a grade III-winning son of Giant's Causeway who has run well at Monmouth for trainer Todd Pletcher. Winning Cause has not crossed the wire first since taking the 2013 Sir Cat Stakes at Saratoga, but has finished on the board in five graded stakes from 11 starts since then. He was fourth last time out in the Aug. 6 John's Call at Saratoga, and also ran fourth in this year's edition of the United Nations July 6.
Monmouth Park, Sunday, August 24, 2014, Race 11
- 1 1/8m
- 3 yo's & up
- 5:41 PM (local)
|1||1Calvados (ARG)||Javier Santiago||116||Ignacio Correas, IV||-|
|2||2Winning Cause (KY)||Eddie Castro||116||Todd A. Pletcher||-|
|3||3Guys Reward (KY)||Paco Lopez||123||Dale L. Romans||-|
|4||4Michael With Us (KY)||Gabriel Saez||116||Stephen L. DiMauro||-|
|5||5Vitium (KY)||Victor Santiago||116||Alisa Brooke Sarson||-|
|6||6Plainview (KY)||Edgar S. Prado||118||Gregory DiPrima||-|
|7||7Big Blue Kitten (KY)||Joe Bravo||120||Chad C. Brown||-|