Three-peat for Stallwalkin' Dude in the Tale of the Cat

Three-peat for Stallwalkin' Dude in the Tale of the Cat
Photo: NYRA/Susie Rasher

Stallwalkin' Dude dueled Loose On the Town in the stretch before overtaking him in the final sixteenth, capturing the fourth running of the $100,000 Tale of the Cat by a head on Friday at Saratoga Race Course.

Stallwalkin' Dude won his third consecutive Tale of the Cat, capitalizing on class relief gained after a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Belmont Sprint on July 8. Trained and co-owned by David Jacobson, Stallwalkin' Dude finished on the board for the third time in his last four starts.

Jockey Paco Lopez put Chief Lion, who added blinkers, to the lead, going a quarter-mile in 21.93 seconds and a half in 44.79. Out of the turn, Stallwalkin' Dude, who bumped Candid Desire at the break and sat fifth at the half-mile mark, angled out as Loose On the Town gained the lead from the rail.

Joe Bravo urged Stallwalkin' Dude in the final furlong, digging in under a drive before outkicking Loose On the Town in deep stretch to complete the six-furlong main track sprint in 1:09.75.

"He likes to make it exciting sometimes, and he sure did that today," Jacobson said. "When I saw the fractions, he was a little further back than what we had planned, but I knew he'd be right there. He's a real pleasure to train, and he's very easy to train. He's run so much with so little breaks and he's so fit that you really don't have to do much with him. He's a special horse and he makes it exciting and he seems to get there every time. He's just figuring it out now. He's got a lot more races left."

Stallwalkin' Dude, also co-owned by Head of Plains Partners, registered his 19th career win in 55 starts and is 3-1-0 in four career starts at the Spa. The 7-year-old is 4-4-1 in his last 11 starts dating to a runner-up finish 2016 Grade 1 Vosburgh.

To be able to knock a race out three years in a row and here like this; he just keeps going," said Bravo, who has been in the irons for the last two Tale of the Cat victories."He's 7-years-old and you wouldn't think he's older than 3. He's out there fighting and doing great. I thank David Jacobson for holding him together as well as he's done. This horse is a fighter and he's feeling great. Look how he did it today. He came from how far out of it to get up? You have to love the old man. He's a warrior."

Off as the 4-5 favorite, Stallwalkin' Dude paid $3.80 on a $2 win wager. The son of City Place improved his career earnings to $1,482,852.

Loose On the Town, a 5-year-old trained by Brian Lynch, finished 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Weekend Hideaway for second, marking an impressive return to stakes company after running second in an allowance race July 18 at Parx.

Candid Desire, Candip, Chief Lion and Cadeyrn completed the order of finish.

Source: NYRA Communications (Brian Bohl)

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