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Courageous Cat Arrives in California

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park
Courageous Cat, who may rule as the favorite in the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile Saturday at Hollywood Park, stood calmly in his stall in Barn 60 North Thursday after arriving from New York Wednesday.


“He flew in last night Fed Ex,” said Rudolph “Rudy” Brisset, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. “He’s a very good shipper. Everything went smoothly.

He ate well and was on the track this morning. He jogged a little and galloped a mile.”


Courageous Cat, a 5-year-old horse, drew the rail in a field of seven in the Grade 1 grass stake and will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela. Owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod, the royally-bred son of Storm Cat out of multiple stakes-winning mare Tranquility Lake has won five of 12 starts and earned $781,300.


Courageous Cat comes off a 2 ¼-length win in the Grade III Poker Stakes at one mile on the Belmont Park turf June 10, his first start in eight months.


“He needed time off after Keeneland,” explained Brisset of the layoff following a third-place finish in the Grade I Shadwell Mile last October. “He had an entrapped epiglottis, had surgery and needed time to recover.”


In his only previous visit to California, Courageous Cat finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2009 at Santa Anita, one-half length behind Goldikova.


Shippers have done well in recent runnings of the Shoemaker. Kentucky shipper Thorn Song won the race in 2009. Another Kentucky shipper, Karelian, just missed last year, finishing second, a head behind Victor’s Cry.



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