Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Sunday, June 2, 2013

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/02/2013 #

In Today’s Notes: Bold Kitten Exits Purple Violet Victory Well, To Point for Oaks; Reigning Catfish Swimming Downstream on New Synthetic Home; Flower Spell To Step Up and Nominate to Grade III Chicago ‘Cap

Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Bold Kitten came out of Saturday’s upset victory in the restricted Purple Violet Stakes in great order.  Under a stealthy ride, the chestnut daughter of Kitten’s Joy slipped through the inside turning for home and fought for a half-length victory over a solid field that included the multiple stakes winning favorite and runner-up My Option. 

“Bold Kitten, she came out good,” reported leading trainer Wayne Catalano.  When asked if she would be pointed toward open company, namely the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks on July 20, Catalano affirmed that it could be on the radar.  “Sounds Perfect.  Mr. Ramsey, he doesn’t mind running in the open 3-year-old filly stakes.”

With a great deal of endurance and grass influences in her pedigree, the powerfully built Bold Kitten seemed to appreciate the added two furlongs and switch from dirt to synthetic in the Purple Violet.  “The Kitten’s Joys, they can handle (the added distance),” Catalano mentioned. 

Bold Kitten is a daughter of that 2004 Eclipse Champion Turf Horse out of a mare by More Than Ready – the sire of nine-furlong Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes winner Verrazano.  The Arlington Oaks will be run at nine furlongs on Arlington’s Polytrack main course. 

Springfield Stakes victor Reigning Catfish, who shocked many when he drove home to an impressive victory on Saturday at odds of 31-1, has exited his triumph in fine form, according to trainer Tom Swearingen.  “He loves this track and came out great,” he remarked. 

Campaigned by longtime Illinois owner John Carver, Reigning Catfish closed from the tail of the field under savvy Seth Martinez guidance to win over near-runaway speedster Massive Explosion.  Showing marked improvement on the Polytrack, the son of versatile sire Bellamy Road will stay local. 

“I really haven’t even decided just yet.  He’s an Illinois-bred and he has all his conditions.  And, we might pursue that, or we might look at something else,” Swearingen said.  “Whatever it’ll be, it’ll be right here (at Arlington).”  A logically possible next start in stakes company could come in the Coach Jimi Lee Stakes on July 13 over seven furlongs and out of the same chute from which Reigning Catfish annexed the Springfield. 

With Breeders Cup (turf) Mile winner Cozzene and Irish Derby victor El Gran Senor in his pedigree, it would not be a surprise for the newly minted synthetic specialist to translate his form over to Arlington’s world-renowned turf course.  “I would definitely consider (the turf) – it just depends on what comes up first and the timing,” Swearingen speculated. 

Impressive Meafara Stakes winner Flower Spell has recovered from her facile six-length victory in great fashion, according to trainer Ingrid Mason.  “She is perfect.  She came out great,” Mason reported. 

Owned by Michael and Allen Faber’s Dare to Dream Stable, Little Bear Racing Stable and Mason, Flower Spell flew through a quarter in :22.20 and half in :44.89 before being wrapped up and galloping home under little-to-no urging by jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr.  “She definitely was impressive and seems to be getting better and better,” the ecstatic trainer added. 

After such an easy victory over many stakes quality fillies, the ownership group will nominate the filly to the Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap on June 29 against older fillies.  “We will definitely look at it,” Mason stated.  “I think she’ll keep going (in distance).  Her breeding says she will definitely get seven furlongs.  She’s just had her past issues and is putting it together now.”  A daughter of Travers Stakes-winning Flower Alley, sire of 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another, Flower Spell may excel with the added distance.