Cat's At Home Edges Top Official in Excelsior

Edward Evans' homebred Cat's At Home earned his second consecutive graded stakes victory at Aqueduct Saturday, edging pacesetting longshot Top Official in the stretch to earn a half-length win in the $190,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III). Boston Party came home third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Top Official.

Under jockey Filiberto Leon, Cat's At Home completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.92 on a fast track and paid $15.40, $8.70, and $6.

"I wanted to keep him outside of horses," Leon said. "He put in a real explosive kick around the far turn. He had to work real hard to get to Top Official. He surged ahead of him, and it was a big effort from my horse."

Top Official returned $21.60 and $10.40 and completed the $289.50 exacta. Boston Party was worth $6 to show.

The win comes on the heels of Cat's At Home's victory in the Westchester Handicap (gr. III) earlier this month at Aqueduct. His 2 1/2-length victory in the one-mile Westchester was his first in a graded stakes. The 4-year-old son of Tabasco Cat has won seven of 16 career races for trainer Mark Hennig, including the listed Patterson Stakes. Cat's At Home earned $120,000 for the win.

"This is a son of Tabasco Cat, so he came along a little slowly with time. He's finicky," said Hennig. "He looks the part and he trains the part. I knew he would have his best years as he got older. We have a lot of options with him, but nothing specific with him at the moment."

Windrush finished fourth, followed by Turnofthecentury, favorite Ground Storm, American Halo, and Nite Dreamer. (Chart, Equibase)