Cat Criminal Tests Mettle in Leonard Richards

Puglisi Stables and Steve Klesaris' Cat Criminal will get his first stakes test in the $300,000 Leonard Richards (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park Sunday.

The 1 1/16-mile test has attracted a field of nine.
Last year, after finishing fourth in a maiden at Saratoga, it was discovered that the son of Tale of the Cat  suffered a hind ankle fracture. Since returning, he has been impressive. In his comeback race, the Kentucky-bred trained by Steve Klesaris broke his maiden by 10 ¾ lengths going 1 1/16 miles at Delaware Park May 29. He followed with a 1 ¼ length victory at the same distance against older allowance foes.

"He is doing good," said trainer Steve Klesaris. "He is training forwardly, and he is ready to go.

"There is no doubt this a step we have to try. He has got ability and he has shown talent from a numbers standpoint. Now it is time for him to step up to the plate to see if he can handle the kind he will be up against."

The Nick Zito-trained Little Cliff, third behind High Cotton and Ultimate Goal in the Sir Barton Stakes May 20, is the 3-1 morning line favorite. Juddmonte Farm's Latent Heat, trained by Bobby Frankel, is the 4-1 second choice but is also entered in Saturday's Long Branch Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Monmouth. Cat Criminal is 9-2.

$300,000 Leonard Richard Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 5:13 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Little Cliff (KY), Jeremy Rose, 116, 3/1
2. Cotton King (KY), Garrett K. Gomez, 116, 6/1
3. How's Your Halo (FL), Juan C. Leyva, 116, 12/1
4. Latent Heat (KY), Garrett K. Gomez, 116, 4/1
5. Throng (KY), Jose A. Santos, 116, 8/1
6. Ah Day (MD), Jonathan Joyce, 118, 8/1
7. Cat Criminal (KY), Mario G. Pino, 116, 9/2
8. Irish Gentleman (KY), Stewart Elliott, 116, 8/1
9. Awfully Smart (KY), Ramon A. Dominguez, 116, 12/1