07/23/2017 7:21PM

Blackjackcat finds ideal trip in Wickerr Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Blackjackcat earned his first stakes victory in the one-mile Wickerr at Del Mar on July 23, 2017.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Last year he tried stretching out to 1 1/8 miles and this year he twice raced at 6 1/2 furlongs, but it seems one mile is just right for Blackjackcat, who scored his second straight victory at that trip when capturing the $79,190 Wickerr Stakes for older grass milers on Sunday at Del Mar.

Apropos of the victory, trainer Mark Glatt said Blackjackcat would make his next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Del Mar Mile on Aug. 20.

“That was kind of the two-race plan,” Glatt said of his Del Mar schedule.

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In the Wickerr, Blackjackcat ($13) received an ideal trip under Gary Stevens. He stalked early leader Street Lad, grabbed the lead heading into the lane and safely held off 6-5 favorite Vyjack to win by a half-length. Calculator was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third, then came, in order, Prime Attraction, Street Lad, Perfectly Majestic, and Dalmore.

Blackjackcat covered one mile on firm turf in 1:35.20 and earned his fourth victory in 12 starts. Blackjackcat, 4, is a gelding by Tale of the Cat who was bred and is owned by Al and Sandee Kirkwood.

This was his first stakes win. Blackjackcat last year was sixth in the Del Mar Derby, third in the Los Alamitos Derby and Twilight Derby – all Grade 2 events – and was sixth in the Hollywood Derby. This was his fourth start since returning in May following a five-month layoff.

“Last year he was in the 3-year-old series. We got caught up in those races because we thought he had a chance to knock one off,” Glatt said. “But it seemed that a mile and an eighth was just a little too far. We turned him out, freshened him up. He’s pretty good down the hill, and he might get a mile and a sixteenth – he won at a mile and a sixteenth here last year – but a mile seems like his best distance.”

Blackjackcat turned up for the Wickerr with a win in a second-level allowance at one mile on turf at Santa Anita. He’ll go for his third straight win at a mile on turf in the Del Mar Mile.