Updated on 09/15/2011 1:40PM

Is Catspaw the Catsmeow?


ALBANY, Calif. - How good is Catspaw?

That's what trainer Larry Ross will find out when he runs the 3-year-old Storm Cat filly in Friday's feature at Golden Gate Fields, a six-furlong optional claiming race for 3-year-old fillies.

Catspaw hesitated at the start in her Sept. 8 debut at Emerald Downs and was never a factor. She did not run again until a maiden race at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 17.

In that race, her second start, she broke well and took an early lead, extending her advantage at each call. She won the six-furlong race in a fast 1:08.88 time at 24-1.

She benefited from a double bias that day with speed on the favorable inside part of the track, but she looked good winning. How good, though, may be found out on Friday.

She faces several proven winners.

One is Shining Britely, claimed for $40,000 by trainer Bill Spawr on Oct. 13 at Santa Anita, a winner of both of her starts for him. She has four wins, five seconds, and a third in 12 lifetime starts.

Deb's Royal Flush has won five of 18 starts with five seconds and four thirds. She enters the race off a pair of seconds in her last two starts.

Stakes-placed Gifted Daughter has three victories, nine seconds, and four thirds in 23 starts and has won $128,980.

Also entered are Our R.N., who ran evenly in her Nov. 29 comeback, Rosanda, Midnight Special, Lazer Storm, Bold Roberta, and Double Shot Latte.

Loose horse causes stir

Not all the excitement at a racetrack takes place in the afternoon, as outrider Ed Lucas discovered Wednesday at Golden Gate Fields.

"I'm supposed to have a boring job," he said.

But it was anything but boring Wednesday morning, when a horse lost its rider during workouts.

"I'm not sure how it happened, but a horse got loose," Lucas said.

The riderless horse ran down the quarter chute, and jumped a fence.

"We chased him in the parking lot, and he was headed for the road," Lucas said. "The yard guys headed him off with a pickup, and I took hold of him."

The horse, whose saddle had slipped underneath him, was returned to the barn area in a horse ambulance.

"The horse seemed all right," Lucas said. "He had all four shoes on."

* Fourteen 2-year-old fillies, headed by unbeaten Fertile, were nominated for Saturday's $55,000-added Corte Madera Stakes. Fertile, trained by Jeff Bonde, has won both her starts. She has not raced since winning the Nursery Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 19.

* Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said that Twentythreejaybird, the likely favorite in Sunday's Sutter Stakes at six furlongs for 2-year-olds, would pass the race because of a "minor problem."

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