10/17/2008 11:00PM

Alpha Kitten looking like alpha filly


ARCADIA, Calif. - If the one-start filly Alpha Kitten is as spectacular as she looked in her debut, then why has it taken seven weeks to race again and why is the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies being run next week without her?

"The calendar was against her," trainer John Sadler said, referring to her only start, on Aug. 30, two days before the Del Mar Debutante. Stardom Bound got all the accolades for winning the Debutante, but Alpha Kitten's maiden win was every bit as impressive and makes her the horse to beat in the six-furlong Anoakia Sunday at the Oak Tree meet.

Jockey Tyler Baze summarized Alpha Kitten's trip: "It was terrible." And that is putting it mildly.

"She broke straight in the air, and got knocked sideways," Baze said. "The second jump she got knocked sideways again. I got her outside and was just going to give her a race. Then I smooched to her, threw the reins at her once, and she blew their doors off."

Alpha Kitten won by 1 3/4 lengths, earned an outstanding 86 Beyer Speed Figure (1 point less than Stardom Bound in the Debutante), and gave Sadler and owner-breeders Jerry and Ann Moss reason to consider going straight into a Grade 1.

"I had thoughts of the Oak Leaf," Sadler said, referring to the 1 1/16-mile race Sept. 27 at Santa Anita. "But [the Mosses] said you don't need to be in a rush, so we're taking more of a conservative approach. She is really good."

Alpha Kitten has been working super, and enters the $75,000 Anoakia with the top figure and possibly the brightest future. Barring the unforeseen, the outcome should be exactly as Baze predicts - victory by the favorite.

"Seriously, if she doesn't win, I'll be surprised," he said. "She is something special. She might be 'Baby Zenyatta.'"

The Mosses bred Alpha Kitten, whose dam, Alpha Mama, they purchased for $650,000 as a yearling. While she was being broken at a farm in Texas, Alpha Mama got loose and was impaled by a fence post in a freak accident. She survived and eventually raced three times, but retired as a maiden. Her full sister Marylebone won the Grade 1 Frizette.

Alpha Kitten, by Tale of the Cat, is the second foal out of Alpha Mama; the first, the

3-year-old colt Art House, is still a maiden. According to racing manager Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, Alpha Kitten was considered one of the stable's top prospects even before she arrived in California.

Her main rivals include the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Toro Bonito and Casino Gold; Northern California stakes winner Broadway Hennessy; Emerald Downs stakes winner Super Dixie; and Fairplex Park stakes winner Miss Dixie Dancer.