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Miami Cat Shows Up in Salty Turf Affair

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Trainer Phil Gleaves, looking for the right race for the 4-year-old gelding Miami Cat to make his second start following a 3 ½ months layoff, has the son of Powerful Goer entered in Sunday’s sixth race optional/allowance at one mile on turf, although the race looks more like a graded stakes race than an allowance.

“I wanted a mile race and this fits well from a timing standpoint,” said Gleaves. “But I can’t say I expected to see the race come up this tough. We’ll go ahead and it should tell us a lot about where we stack up heading into the spring and summer.”

Gleaves bred Miami Cat and races him in partnership with Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff’s 4-year-old Csaba, the star of the stable currently getting a break after finishing fifth last out in the Donn Handicap. The son of Kitten’s Joy had won four straight stakes race prior to the Donn, including the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes and Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) here earlier in the meet.

“Csaba’s doing fine and currently in the middle of a three week break on Circle S Farm near here,” reported Gleaves. “We decided it was a good time for a break before getting him ready for a spring and summer campaign.

Miami Cat finished a good fourth last out in a 1 1/16 miles allowance over the course on Feb. 2, between 2 ½ lengths by the winner in an even effort in his first start since a dull ninth-place try in the Kent Stakes (G3) at Delaware Park in September. On his best last summer at Saratoga, he won the Equalize Stakes over Film Shot in late August.

Meanwhile, Miami Cat’s rivals in Sunday’s race include Waterford Stable’s 4-year-old Summer Front, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 5-year-old Big Blue Kitten and James Dinan and Phantom House Farm’s 9-year-old gelding Get Serious, all three Graded stakes winner on turf.

Summer Front is a a son of War Front purchased for $475,000 at the Keeneland April 2-year-old sales and won his first three starts for trainer Christophe Clement, including the Dania Beach Stakes over the Gulfstream course early last year.

Summer Front went on to win the Hill Prince (G3) at Belmont Park and finished third in the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park and Jamaica Handicap (G1) at Belmont before a close-up sixth-place effort last out in the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Hollywood Park on Nov. 25.

Big Blue Kitten finished a strong third last out in the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G3) on Jan. 12 with trouble in the race after an allowance victory over the course on Dec. 8. Trained by Chad Brown, the son of Kitten’s Joy won the Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) at Saratoga as a 3-year-old and finished a good third in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) early last year.

 

 

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