Trained by Graham Motion, the 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Kitten's Joy —Rendevous Point, by Kingmambo, stalked the pace throughout the 1 1/8-mile contest, then persevered through a cluster of colliding horses in deep stretch to win by a head over well-regarded 8-5 favorite Tokyo Time. The final time was 1:50.22.
Kitten's Point and jockey Edgar Prado stalked I O Ireland, who ran took the field through easy fractions of :25.51, :51.13, and 1:15.86, running with her head so low early on her nose was nearly at knee level.
The action started to heat up going into the second turn when Kitten's Point drew even with I O Ireland and two other challengers, Tuttipaesi and Coffee Clique, and advanced so they were right at the leader's shoulders heading into the top the stretch. Then the heat became a boil.
I O Ireland stayed on the rail and Kitten's Point fanned out about four paths out. Caroline Thomas, being ridden by Luis Saez, saw the door open and went for it. Unfortunately, I O Ireland came off the rail as Saez drove through hole and bumped Caroline Thomas, who in turn brushed into Tokyo Time.
Caroline Thomas got squeezed back and was immediately out of contention. Kitten's Point, just to the outside of Toyko Time, missed most of the commotion and got a half a length lead on the field. Tokyo Time, however, regrouped and came running again, closing quickly on Kitten's Point but still a nose short at the wire. Tuttipaesi, a close second-choice at 9-5, finished third by 1 1/4 lengths.
An inquiry was made but the stewards did not change the order of finish.
"I was a lucky passenger all the way around, but when I pressed the pedal you can see we came home running," said Prado, who had his second winner of the day. "She finished strong and galloped out real well. I was very happy with her and hopefully she will come back good."
Motion said he thought Kitten's Point would relish the distance.
"I thought the mile and an eighth would be a big help to her," he said. "Actually, Edgar just jumped off and said he can't wait for her to go a little further.
"It kind of ran like a stayer's race. I think the difference for the win between her and Tuttipaesi was that she had the trip and Tuttipaesi never got to cover up, never got to settle. You'd have to think about a race like the Ashland (at Keeneland on April 6). I wish it was a mile and an eighth because she's run well on the synthetic. Definitely, I'll have to think about that," Motion said.
The winner paid $15.60, $5.20, and $3.20. Tokyo Time paid $3.40 and $2.60, while Tuttipasei paid $2.40. The $2 exacta paid $67.80, and the $2 trifecta paid $145.60.
"I had a lot of horse throughout the race and had the room to run," Saez said. "I tried to go through the hole and both jockeys saw me and closed the hole, so I had to check. I thought I could win the race because I had plenty of horse left."
Tokyo Time is trained by Shug McGaughey for owner/breeder Emory Hamilton. He said the filly ran well despite traffic trouble in the second turn and the bumping in the stretch.
"We were laying in behind in a little bit of trouble," he said. "It will really help her in the long run with the trouble she was in and being on the inside. We'll take her to Keeneland next and figure out her next race from there."
Kitten's Point, who races under Strawbridge's Augustin Stable colors, broke her maiden at first asking at Presque Isle Downs, then followed that race with a second-place finished by a nose to Moonwalk in the 1 1/16-mile Jessamine Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland.
Motion then took a shot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf (gr. IT), where she finished 12th. The chestnut filly came into the Herecomesthebride off a promising second-place finish in a $75,000 optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park Feb. 2.