05/08/2008 11:00PM

Cat Dreamer wins race for his sale preview

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Conventional previews for Tuesday's Barretts May Sale of 2-year-olds in training were held at Fairplex Park in Pomona on Thursday and Friday. Many of the 329 horses that are being offered at the sale breezed before prospective buyers.

About 40 miles to the west, at Hollywood Park, trainer Adam Kitchingman had a sale preview of his own on Thursday. He won the second race with Cat Dreamer, who zipped 4 1/2 furlongs in track-record time of 50.84 seconds, winning what was the third start of his career. Cat Dreamer represented the first winner for his stallion, Cat Dreams, who stands at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in Santa Ynez, Calif., for a $4,000 fee.

Cat Dreamer will sell as Hip No. 238 at the May sale, although the expected price may have increased slightly after Thursday's win.

Kitchingman weighed the options of working Cat Dreamer at a preview or racing him on Thursday, and decided that the race offered more potential.

"We opted to run 4 1/2 furlongs and preview him through racing," he said. "We took the gamble and ran him. It paid off."

Cat Dreamer ran in a maiden race for $40,000 claimers, and that's about what the reserve will be on Tuesday, according to Kitchingman.

"I imagine he'll have a $40,000 to $50,000 reserve," Kitchingman said. "If he doesn't sell, we'll bring him back for the starter allowance at Del Mar."

Kitchingman co-owns part of Cat Dreamer, with Donald Stanley and Mike Shustek. The colt is consigned to Tuesday's sale by B.C.3 Thoroughbreds, agent.

A California-bred, Cat Dreamer ran twice in two-furlong races at Santa Anita this spring, finishing second by a head in a maiden special weight race for statebreds on March 21 and fifth in a maiden special weight race against open company on April 11.

Had he won one of those races, Kitchingman said it would have been difficult to expect support from prospective buyers.

"If you win for two furlongs, there is no money," he said. "They're not going to give him any credit."

Kitchingman says he has six horses in Tuesday's sale, including Gonging Wild, who set a two-furlong track record of 20.87 seconds when winning a maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on April 17. Owned by Galley Farm, Gonging Wild, a filly by Expressionist, is Hip No. 313 on Tuesday. At the time of her win, Kitchingman said she would sell with no reserve.

Eventually, Kitchingman said he would like to improve his stock and move away from such ventures, but he added that currently it makes economic sense.

"I don't have the clients to buy the horses that can go two turns," he said. "It's an expensive sport and they want to get their money."

The May sale has grown in stature in recent years. In 2006, the sale topper was a Red Bullet colt that cost $2.5 million, a record for the sale. Last year, the sale averaged a record $62,604. There were 13 horses that sold for $250,000 or more, compared to four in 2006.

This year's sale includes the sale-topper from the 2007 California October yearling sale, a Friends Lake colt that was purchased last fall for $150,000 by Bruno de Berdt. The colt worked 10.3 seconds at Thursday's training preview.

Two horses zipped a furlong in 9.80 seconds on Thursday - a colt by Gimmeawink (Hip 28) and a colt by Not for Love (Hip 73). The fastest quarter-mile workout of 20.80 seconds was recorded by a Harlan's Holiday filly (Hip 121). The fastest three-furlong workout of 33.60 seconds was recorded by a Cherokee Run colt (Hip 66).