10/16/2016 3:35PM

Calgary Cat regains good form in Nearctic Stakes

Michael Burns
Calgary Cat, ridden by Luis Contreras, gets up by a head over Stacked Deck to pay $33.90 in the Nearctic.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Calgary Cat, the 2014 Canadian champion male sprinter, nailed last year’s champion sprinter Stacked Deck on the wire to take Sunday’s Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes on the Canadian International undercard at Woodbine.

Expected Ruler set a lively pace after breaking from the outside in the six-furlong turf dash. Stacked Deck took up the chase in second, while Calgary Cat bided his time at the back of the pack on the outside.

Stacked Deck assumed command early in the stretch, with the favored Conquest Enforcer in close proximity. After getting passed by Conquest Enforcer, Stacked Deck came back on to grab a slim lead, but  a charging Calgary Cat got up on the outside to score by a head, in a time of 1:08.32.

“I got a perfect trip,” said Luis Contreras, who rode Calgary Cat for trainer Kevin Attard. “My horse gave me everything he had from the quarter pole to the wire.”

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After finishing a lapped-on fifth in the Troy Stakes on grass at Saratoga on Aug. 20, Calgary Cat was a flat fourth in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes here on Tapeta.

“He’s been struggling over the synthetic,” said Attard. “His race at Saratoga was tremendous. It was his first time going 5 1/2 furlongs. He came flying at the end. He was training really well going into this race.” 

Calgary Cat ($33.90) earned $180,000 of the $307,800 purse, which increased his earnings to just past the $1 million mark. A son of Cowtown Cat, the 6-year-old Calgary Cat is owned by Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman.