Cat Moves gets up late in the Prioress.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Cat Moves gets up late in the Prioress.
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Coglianese Photos

Cat Moves Springs to Prioress Victory

Edward Evans' homebred defeats her entrymate for trainer Anthony Dutrow at Belmont.

Undefeated Cat Moves became a grade I winner in her stakes debut, outfighting Light Green to capture the $300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. IT) (VIDEO), as a pair of Edward P. Evans Virginia homebreds took first and second at Belmont Park July 4.

"Man, they both ran fantastic!” Evans exclaimed afterward after the 6-5 coupled entry dominated the six-furlong Prioress.

Making her third start, Cat Moves, trained by Anthony Dutrow, did not have the experience of her eight 3-year-old rivals. But ridden by Ramon Dominguez, she got a great set-up after settling in behind a wicked early pace by Heart Ashley and Light Green. Light Green, from the Todd Pletcher stable, took over in the homestretch but was worn down late by Cat Moves, who won by three-quarters of a length. It was 2 1/4 lengths to the show horse, Reforestation. The final time was a smart 1:08.65 over a 'fast' strip.

Heart Ashley sped to the lead out of the gate, blitzing through quarter-mile splits of :21.56 and :44.01 with Light Green and John Velazquez pressuring from a half-length away. With Cat Moves moving up from fourth on the turn, Heart Ashley opened up a clear advantage and showed the way into upper stretch. Heart Ashley tired after that as Light Green fired to the front and took command mid-stretch. Cat Moves swung four wide at the quarter pole and charged after her entrymate, gaining the advantage in deep stretch and inching away to victory.

“She’s getting better and it’s amazing – it’s only her third start," Dominguez said. "She’s extremely professional. Obviously there was a lot of speed, but Tony told me before the race, ‘Ramon, don’t worry about the speed, just put her where she’s comfortable and she’ll come running for you.’"

Cat Moves is a product of Tale of the Cat --Dance Move, by Capote. The bay filly debuted with a front-running 8 1/4-length win over maidens at Aqueduct April 26. She came back with a 4 3/4-length triumph over first-level allowance types on a sloppy track at Delaware Park as the odds-on choice June 2. She Prioress victory was worth $180,000, increasing her earnings to $229,200.

"I was so confident this filly was going to run a great race," Dutrow said. "I was OK all during the race – I didn’t know if we were going to win it, but I knew it was going to be an exciting stretch. This filly is so relaxed – after she won her first race, she acted like she had done this a hundred times. Did you see her in the winner’s circle today? While everyone was gathering around to take a picture, she just stood there. She never moved a muscle and she’d still be standing there.

"Todd’s filly (Light Green) was fantastic today, to go that fast and hang around like she did. It was a big effort for (Cat Moves) today."

Dutrow said he would confer with Evans about running Cat Moves in the seven-furlong Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 8.

Reforestation, who closed willingly for Eibar Coa at odds of 48-1, was followed by Selva, Luster, Heart Ashley, On the Menu, Be Fair and Acorn Stakes (gr. I) winner Gabby's Golden Gal, who stumbled at the start and was never involved.

The entry paid $4.20, $4.20 and $3.00. Reforestation returned $11.60. The $2 exacta was $96.