Bluegrass Cat Goes to School in Nashua Win

(from Belmont Park report)
WinStar Farm's Bluegrass Cat continued his education at Belmont Park on Friday afternoon, winning the $113,300 Nashua (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at a mile by 1 1/4 lengths over outsider Political Force.

The win, his second in three starts, kept the Storm Cat colt on schedule for Aqueduct's $200,000 Remsen (gr. II) at nine furlongs on Nov. 26.

"What I loved about the race today was that he was in behind horses, and got an education. He had to make room for himself at the top of the stretch and pushed his way through," said winning trainer Todd Pletcher. "He showed some gameness and learned something in the process. We've been thinking about the Remsen all along, and as long he comes out of the race okay, that's where we'll go."

Ridden by John Velazquez, Bluegrass Cat returned $10.40, $5.90 and $4.40. He earned $75,600 for his owners.

"We wanted to rate him and save ground," Velazquez said. "He was headstrong early, but he did settle down. When we came to the quarter-pole, we worked our way out and he took off. He's a really talented horse and he proved that here today."

Velazquez's mount was also bumped at the start, but was quickly under control placed up close to a pace of: 22 3/5, 45 1/5 and 1:09 2/5 set by Diabolical. Once he found room, he proved much the best, drawing off for the win in 1:36 on the fast track.

Political Force ($16.60, $11.20) closed well to finish second. Diabolical ($7.70) lasted for third, with Congo King, Changing Weather and favored Too Much Bling following. It was farther back to Bear Character, Great Point, Southern Success and Express News.

(Chart, Equibase)