Former Canadian champion sprinter Calgary Cat stormed wide down the stretch and won in a tight finish over Stacked Deck and Conquest Enforcer in the $300,000 Nearctic Stakes (Can-IIT) Oct. 15 at Woodbine.
The son of Cowtown Cat scored by a head and finished six furlongs in 1:08.32 on firm turf under Luis Contreras for his 12th win and seventh stakes triumph from 26 starts. He is trained by Kevin Attard for Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman and snapped a three-race winless streak dating from a victory in the Achievement Stakes in June at Woodbine.
Stacked Deck outfinished favorite Conquest Enforcer by a head for second in the field of eight.
Stacked Deck took charge from pacesetter Expected Ruler in early stretch and was quickly challenged by Conquest Enforcer, who edged ahead in the final sixteenth. Calgary Cat, who raced in last through the opening quarter, was brought wide to rally and the 6-year-old gelding closed fastest of all to enter contention late and spring the surprise win at 15-1 odds. Stacked Deck came back to edge Conquest Enforcer for second.
Calgary Cat paid $33.90, $13.10, and $5.90, Stacked Deck returned $7 and $4.40, and Conquest Enforcer paid $3 to show.
Bred in Ontario by WinStar Farm, Calgary Cat is out of the A.P. Indy mare Big Sink Star, a half sister to grade II winner Waltzing Maltilda from the family of French highweight and group I winner Way of Light.
Trainer Mark Casse bought him as agent for John Oxley for $40,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale, where Denali Stud's agency consigned. Casse trained him as 2-year-old before Attard claimed him for $25,000 for his current connections late in his 3-year-old year and trained him to the 2014 Sovereign Award for Canada's champion sprinter.