Discreet Cat Returns to Action Friday at Spa

(from Saratoga notes)
Godolphin's Discreet Cat, off since a dominating win in the UAE Derby (UAE-II) on March 26, was a somewhat surprising entrant in Friday's third race at Saratoga, a "non-winners of three other than" allowance that also carries an optional $75,000 claiming tag.

Discreet Cat defeated Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Invasor by seven lengths in the UAE Derby. The Forestry colt has had four works training over Saratoga's main track.

Rick Mettee, assistant to trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, was initially looking to an allowance race during Belmont Park's Fall Championship Meet, but he was concerned the race would not fill.

"This horse, he has developed a little bit of a following," Mettee said. "And because of that, we were afraid the race at Belmont might not fill. We knew this one on Friday was going to go, so we decided to enter."

Although Discreet Cat has been working steadily, Mettee cautioned that the dynamic 3-year old might not be at his best on Friday.

"I think he is still probably a few works away," Mettee said. "We just felt this was a good opportunity to run him and get him started. Seven furlongs should be a good spot to get him going."

The Jerome Breeder's Cup Handicap (gr. II), a $150,000 stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 1, has been the long-range goal for Discreet Cat. Mettee feels Friday's race should be a perfect bridge to the Jerome.

"Win or lose, I think this race will help him for the Jerome," Mettee said. "There are some good older horses in there on Friday. This should help us move forward. We should be able to build off this race."

Mettee was non-committal about what races he will target after the Jerome, but did say that Discreet Cat will remain in training next season.

"We will have to see how he comes out of the next two races and then take it from there," Mettee said. "We will let him tell us if and where he runs after the Jerome. We are not in a big rush, as we plan to bring him back as a four-year old."