06/01/2013 7:34PM

Arlington: Fear the Kitten fails, but Bold Kitten connects at 10-1

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Reigning Catfish, winless in five starts on dirt, pulls a $64.60 surprise under Seth Martinez switching to Polytrack for the Springfield Stakes.

Odds-on favorite Fear the Kitten went down to defeat in the Springfield Stakes, but 10-1 chance Bold Kitten scratched out a win in the Purple Violet Stakes on Saturday at Arlington.

Fear the Kitten, with five straight starts – several creditable – in graded stakes went off the 3-5 favorite in the Springfield, one of two stakes for Illinois-bred 3-year-olds on the card, but Fear the Kitten is a come-from-behind horse who tried to rally from far back while racing outside. That sort of journey has recently been a recipe for failure on a speed- and inside-favoring Polytrack at Arlington, and Fear the Kitten made little impression in the Springfield, checking in fourth

Meanwhile, 22-1 shot Massive Explosion made the lead from the rail and despite going a half-mile in a demanding 45.86 seconds ran on determinedly through the homestretch. Only one horse was making significant forward progress, a 31-1, five-race maiden named Reigning Catfish, and about a half-furlong from the wire, he caught and passed Massive Explosion, winning the $89,400 Springfield by 1 1/4 lengths. Lassell finished third, with the winner, who paid $64.60, running a one-turn mile in 1:37.76.

A Bellamy Road gelding bred and owned by John Carver, trained by Tom Swearingen, and ridden by Seth Martinez, Reigning Catfish never had finished better than third in his five races, but all had come on the dirt course at Hawthorne.

“Last year, this was my best colt,” Swearingen said. “I had him here at Arlington and he was just working great over this Polytrack. I ran him at Hawthorne and he just wasn’t as comfortable.”

In the $87,025 Purple Violet, the filly-restricted version of the Springfield, favored My Option turned in a strong performance, dueling three paths wide on the lead through a fast opening quarter-mile in 22.72 seconds and a quick half of 46.31. But Bold Kitten, hugging the fence all the way under Florent Geroux, rallied along the inside in the stretch to tag My Option by a half length. The winner, a Kitten’s Joy filly trained by Wayne Catalano for owners-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey, paid $21.80 winning for the first time outside the maiden ranks. Alette made an outside bid at the quarter pole and finished third. Winning time for the mile was 1:37.54.

Meafara: Flower Spell speeds to victory

With speed carrying so well in one-turn Polytrack races, Flower Spell ($10) went straight to the front in the $66,600 Meafara, an overnight stakes for 3-year-old fillies, and blew the race open at the top of the stretch. Ahead by seven lengths at the stretch call, she won by six lengths over 23-1 shot Ghost Flower, running six furlongs in 1:11.27.

Rosemary Homeister rode the winner, a daughter of Flower Alley, for trainer Ingrid Mason, a co-owner with Dare to Dream Stable and Little Bear Racing Stables.

Favored I’m Already Sex was pulled up turning for home by Channing Hill, but walked off the track and, according to track veterinarians, appeared to have suffered no obvious injury.