Ashley's Kitty Wins Railbird
Photo: Benoit
Ashley's Kitty, front, holds off a pressing Silver Swallow, back, to win the Railbird Stakes, Sunday at Hollywood Park.
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Ashley’s Kitty, a 17-1 outsider, gained the lead from Sindy With An S nearing the sixteenth pole and held on to beat hard-charging favorite Silver Swallow by a nose as apprentice jockey Joe Talamo completed a hat trick in Sunday’s $111,000 Railbird (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.

The hat trick was the third of the meeting for the 17-year-old, who has missed six of the first 16 days with two suspensions, but is still third in the jockeys’ standings with 14 winners. It also marked his first victory in a graded stakes race.

"I saw there was so much speed in the race,” Talamo said. “She's such a nice horse that she could sit right behind and rate. In the first two races she ran she was up there close, but today she really rated nicely for me."

Ashley’s Kitty, trained by Ted H. West and owned by the Oak West Farm father-son team of Bernard and Gary Hoffman of San Diego, covered seven furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:22.80 while paying $36.60, $12.40, and $5.80.

Silver Swallow, the 2-1 elect on the basis of her second-place finish behind Rags to Riches in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) five weeks ago, was last down the backstretch under Alex Solis. She began a dramatic move on the far turn, but fell just short after a sustained drive through the lane, paying $3.40 and $2.40. Sindy With An S, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Martin Garcia, returned $3.40 after inching away from the pack in upper stretch.

Storm Queen set a blazing pace of :21 3/5 and :43 4/5 before weakening in the stretch and giving way to Sindy With an S. 

Ashley’s Kitty, winner of her first two starts, finished ninth in the Providencia (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita turf while making her third and most recent start on April 7. The victory, worth $66,600, increased her earnings to $119,400. Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds bred the chestnut daughter of Tale of the Cat  --Pretty 'n Smart (Beau Genius) in Kentucky.

“Our filly is normally kind of a speed horse but there is so much speed in here we thought we would sit back and make one run,” West said. “Joe rode her perfect and he did just what I told him to, he had her in the right spot and made a move when it counted. We haven’t really looked ahead with her, we’re just surprised a little bit with how well she ran today and we are still learning what she can do. She’s really game and had an impressive race today.”

Solis had no complaints about the effort of the runner-up.

"My filly took a little bit of time down the stretch to get going. She leveled off at the eighth pole. I wasn't sure if I could catch the winner, but she ran great."

High Cholesterol, Adoradora, Storm Queen, Coco Belle, Forest Huntress and Glorification completed the order.

(Chart, Equibase)

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