Watch This Cat has been here before
DEL MAR, Calif. – Watch This Cat got practice breaking from the rail in a turf sprint’s small field in her last start. She’ll encounter a similar situation Thursday at Del Mar when she faces five other female grass sprinters in race 7, a five-furlong optional claimer which carries a $67,000 purse.
“It looks like the same race,” her trainer, Richard Baltas, said Monday morning. “She got the rail again.”
Watch This Cat set the pace against four others in the Daisycutter, then was overhauled in the final yards by Long Hot Summer, whom she must hold off again Thursday. Baltas is hoping jockey Rafael Bejarano doesn’t make things easy for Long Hot Summer, who was able to slip through inside Watch This Cat on Aug. 4 before beating her by one length.
“She got through on the rail,” Baltas said. “I thought that was a bad move. Left it open, she came through,” he said, conceding, “the other horse was better on the day.”
Watch This Cat has sharp speed, but figures to have company early from Lajatico, who won a second-level allowance over this course in frontrunning fashion Aug. 16.
Long Hot Summer and Snow Cloud both own multiple wins sprinting on this course.
Belvoir Bay and Indriya round out the field. Indriya is in for a $100,000 claiming tag, while the other five runners are using their third-level allowance condition.
Watch This Cat, by Eskendereya Last 3 Beyers: 85-82-85
◗ This will be her third start of the meet. After a poor try going long in the Osunitas, she returned to her favorite game, sprinting on turf.
“She’s a sprinter,” Baltas said. “She loves the hill at Santa Anita. She’s built like a sprinter, really compact.”
Long Hot Summer, by Street Boss Last 3 Beyers: 88-80-72
◗ After being freshened for six months, she prepped at Santa Anita down the hill before winning the Daisycutter, her second win in five starts over this course.
◗ Her regular rider, Joe Talamo, is back aboard.
Lajatico, by Equiano Last 3 Beyers: 88-83-83
◗ She led from start to finish when winning Aug. 16, her second victory in three starts sprinting on this course.
◗ Flavien Prat is on suspension Thursday, so Drayden Van Dyke picks up the mount for trainer Doug O’Neill.
Snow Cloud, by Kodiac Last 3 Beyers: 81-86-77
◗ She finished fourth to Lajatico on Aug. 16, but won over this course July 20.
◗ She has won three times in six starts on this course.