Calgary Cat scores in the Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes.
Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman’s Calgary Cat was the surprise victor of Sunday’s Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes, closing down the center of Woodbine’s turf course to nail a photo finish on the wire. The 6-year-old son of Cowtown Cat, ridden by Luis Contreras for Kevin Attard, covered six furlongs over the firm turf in 1:08.32, winning at odds of 15-1.
Expected Ruler was very sharp out of the starting gate, jumping out to nearly a three-length lead down the backstretch to roll through a first quarter in :22.39 under a tight hold by jockey Florent Geroux. Stacked Deck tracked that pace from second, with Full Mast and Divine just in behind. Mid-way through the turn, Expected Ruler began to come back to the field, and turning for home Stacked Deck had drawn even with the longshot leader.
Stacked Deck held the lead at the top of the lane, but was challenged by race-favorite Conquest Enforcer early in the stretch run. Those two dueled down the lane, with Conquest Enforcer taking the lead a sixteenth from home. Meanwhile, Calgary Cat exploded down the outside of the field to enter the picture very late in the race, and had just enough momentum to win the photo by a long nose. Stacked Deck re-rallied on the inside to beat out Conquest Enforcer for second, and Full Mast was fourth.
Bred in Ontario by WinStar Farm, Calgary Cat was purchased as a yearling for $ 40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall sale. Under the care of trainer Mark Casse, the gelding was mildly successful in the allowance and claiming ranks. In November of 2013, he was claimed by Attard for $ 25,000. Since then, Calgary Cat has gone on to win multiple graded stakes races at Woodbine, and was the Sovereign Award-winning sprinter in 2014. Overall, he boasts a record of 12 wins from 27 starts, with earnings of over $ 900,000.
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