12/22/2010 2:23PM

Category Killer better suited to sprinting


Rather than complain about the near-misses that come with having won with just 3 of his first 35 starters at the Fair Grounds meet, Tom Amoss is putting a different spin on a period of mild frustration.

“I challenge anybody to match my record for being in the money,” Amoss said with false bravado and a laugh.

Indeed, with 10 seconds and 9 thirds, Amoss kept coming close while falling conspicuously shy of his typical high-percentage win rate. Sooner, rather than later, Amoss is hoping to start converting some of those narrow defeats into wins, and a 2-year-old colt named Category Killer is a prime candidate to be of help in that regard.

Category Killer, with Jamie Theriot to ride, will turn back to six furlongs as a main contender in a $47,000, first-level allowance, which is carded as the ninth and richest of 10 races when live action resumes Sunday following a brief Christmas break at the New Orleans track.

“We tried him in the prep for the Delta Jackpot and he just wasn’t able to handle the two turns, which was a fear going in,” said Amoss, an eight-time leading trainer at his hometown track. “We were taking a shot off a very good performance, but he probably showed he’s more a one-turn horse than two.”

Before being soundly defeated in that Oct. 30 mile at Delta Downs, Category Killer romped by 15 lengths in a Sept. 30 maiden sprint at Hoosier Park, where Amoss was the leading trainer this year. Category Killer, by the noted sprint sire Officer, has been favored in all three career starts and could fill that same role again Sunday, especially off a bullet local drill Dec. 16.

Other possibilities among the eight 2-year-olds in the Sunday feature include Appealing Image, second at a long price for similar allowance conditions on closing weekend of the Churchill Downs meet, along with Herp, Divine Music, and Getaway Guy.

Two other allowances (races 3 and 6) also are carded for Sunday, with both being restricted to Louisiana-breds. Both carry purses of $43,000.