11/30/2011 3:55PM

Aqueduct: Martin sending out Promise Me a Cat


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Carlos Martin on Wednesday was preparing to say goodbye to more than half his stable, as approximately a dozen horses he trains for Flying Zee Stables were about to head to Maryland for that outfit’s dispersal to be hosted by Fasig-Tipton at Timonium.

While he will retain five horses for Flying Zee – whose proprietor, Carl Lizza, died in July – Martin will be counting on other owners to fill his stalls at Belmont Park. One of those owners is Marc Holliday, who races under the moniker Blue Devil Racing. One of Blue Devil’s more promising horses of 2010 was Promise Me a Cat, who makes her return to the races off a 54-week layoff in Friday’s featured second-level allowance at Aqueduct.

Promise Me a Cat, a 3-year-old daughter of D’wildcat, had two wins and two seconds sprinting as a 2-year-old, including a five-length victory in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park. Martin attempted to stretch Promise Me a Cat out around two turns in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Princess Stakes last Nov. 20. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the nine-horse field, Promise Me a Cat finished fourth, beaten six lengths.

She came out of that race with a chip in a knee, according to Martin. Following surgery, Promise Me a Cat was given plenty of time to recover. She was put back into training at a farm in Ocala, Fla., under the tutelage of Jeanne and April Mayberry.

“She’s trained sensational the last two months since she’s been back here,” Martin said. “She came with a pretty good foundation from the Mayberrys. I put the finishing touches on her.”

Promise Me a Cat will break from the outside post under David Cohen.

She should have some pace to stalk with the likes of Flying Train and Palooza in the field. Flying Train set the pace in the Le Slew Stakes, in which she faded to third behind the champion Awesome Feather, who came back to win last Saturday’s Grade 1 Gazelle to remain undefeated in eight starts. With C.C. Lopez named to ride, one would expect Flying Train to be involved early.

Trainer John Hertler sends out the uncoupled entry of Indian Burn and Lady Whimsical. Indian Burn has only 2 wins from 18 career starts, but one of them came in the Ruthless Stakes over the inner track 23 months ago. Unfortunately, she is winless in her last 15 outings.

Lady Whimsical has not been out since January, when she raced on the turf for trainer Barclay Tagg at Gulfstream Park. Hertler said he actually got the filly about a month ago from trainer Angel Penna Jr.

“I don’t know how she’s going to run,” Hertler said. “She’s doing everything right and she’s happy. I breezed her a half-mile and she went beautiful.”

Lady Whimsical began her career in Martin’s barn and made three starts over the inner track, finishing second twice and third once. Apprentice Ryan Curatolo rides Lady Whimsical from post 3.

Taconic Victory and Honest Gold complete the field.