Catboat, Lovely Afternoon in Dead-Heat at Arlington

Edited from Arlington Park reports
Stonerside Stable's Catboat overcame a slow start to finish the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) on even terms with Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Lovely Afternoon, the first dead-heat for win in Arlington's race for 3-year-old fillies on the main track.

Eddie Martin Jr. rode Catboat while James Graham was astride Lovely Afternoon. The pair was clocked in 1:51.06 for 1 1/8 miles over a fast track.

The Oaks was the second victory of the year for Lovely Afternoon, a Tony Mitchell-trained daughter of Afternoon Deelites whose other win this year was also a nine-furlong main track affair. She earned $60,000 to push her bankroll to $150,076. The Oaks also gave recently-turned journeyman James Graham his first graded stakes score.

For Catboat, a daughter of Tale of the Cat trained by Bernie Flint, the Oaks was her fifth trip to the winner's circle in nine starts this year. With the $60,000 picked up here, her earnings now stand at $146,319.

Favored Fly Away Angel set the pace in the race through three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.07 before fading in the stretch to finish fourth. While Lovely Afternoon stalked the pacesetter from the outside, Catboat was hugging the rail saving ground at mid pack after the sluggish start.

"I was hoping to get a good break and dictate the pace but she swung her head a little bit at the break and got off horribly," Martin said. "At that point, I just decided to rate her and save all the ground on the fence the entire way. She ran a fantastic race and she showed a lot of guts."

Mitchell indicated his filly would point toward the grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the turf Sept. 18, while Flint said he would plot Catboat's next move with representatives from Stonerside Stable.

My Time Now finished third in the 10-horse field, followed by pacesetting favorite Fly Away Angel, Platinum Ballet, Miss Moses, Touch of Victory, Teenage Temper, Flashy and Chancey Light.

Lovely Afternoon, dispatched at odds of 17-1, paid $16, $15.20 and $8.60. Catboat, sent off at 9-2, returned $6.20, $7.20 and $5.80. My Time now paid $10.60.

The Oaks was the second dead-heat for win on Saturday's card. Earlier in the day, Rey Aguirre's Never Give In and J. David Banks' Orphan Cartwright finished on even terms in the fourth race.

(Chart, Equibase)