10/17/2014 11:01AM

Calgary Cat seeks to strengthen credentials in Nearctic Stakes

Michael Burns
After winning the Bold Venture on Polytrack, Calgary Cat switches to turf for the Nearctic.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Calgary Cat could stamp himself as a contender for Canadian champion male sprinter with a win in Sunday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Nearctic Stakes over six furlongs on turf at Woodbine.

Claimed for $25,000 last November by trainer Kevin Attard for owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman, Calgary Cat has won 4 of 5 starts this season and captured the Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes in his most recent start Sept. 13. Even though Calgary Cat won his first graded stakes on Polytrack in the Bold Venture, Attard said he is excited to see the 4-year-old gelding back on turf for the Nearctic.

“I’ve always thought he was a better turf horse at the end of the day, but after his last race, it might be hard to argue that,” Attard said. “He’s trained really well. He’s had a couple of breezes since the Bold Venture, and he seems to be coming into the race in great order.”

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Attard said he envisions Calgary Cat continuing his off-the-pace running style in the Nearctic.

“I wouldn’t expect anything different,” Attard said. “That’s the way he’s been running. We’ve worked on getting him to relax in the mornings, so there’s no sense in changing things now.”

Nearctic Stakes, Race 8

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Calgary Cat (Last 3 Beyers: 98-93-87)

◗ With an outside draw, Calgary Cat should be clear of trouble for the stretch run from off the pace but will need to get the jump on Lockout.

Lockout (Last 3 Beyers: 89-101-97)

◗ Lockout will be in no hurry out of the gate but should come with a strong late kick that he has shown in each of his four sprint races this season.

Excaper (Last 3 Beyers: 94-99-101)

◗ Excaper will be making his first start since evening out in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes over seven-furlongs Aug. 10 but has a consistent work tab since early September. Six furlongs could be too short for the 5-year-old, whose ideal distance appears to be between seven furlongs and a mile.

Dreamsgonewild (Last 3 Beyers: 96-87-84)

◗ Dreamsgonewild appears to possess tactical speed and could prove tough for the closers to run by in the late going.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT : Trainer Bruce Alexander has a 24 percent strike rate in turf sprints over the past five years, with a return on investment of $3.72.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 7 Caspar Netscher. Trainer David Simcock is 10-3-1-2 with a $3.40 ROI over the past five years in North America. Click for more details. Dan Illman