03/30/2013 1:52PM

Charles Town: Aye a Cat possible pedigree play


A pair of fillies who were stakes-placed as 2-year-olds last season and another whose half-sister was a two-time Grade  1 winner with earnings of more than $1  million will compete in quest of their second career victory in the last of three allowance races on Tuesday night’s program at Charles Town.

Easter Fashion, runner-up in the $75,000 Miss Shenandoah while making her second lifetime start last September, and Just a Trick, third in the Triple Crown Nutrition on last fall’s West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program, bring a touch of back class into the $26,000 race, which will be contested at 4  1/2 furlongs.

The most intriguing of the six 3-year-old fillies in the lineup, however, is Aye a Cat, whose pedigree suggests she should develop into a much better runner than her 1-for-7 record to date.

Aye a Cat, a West Virginia-bred homebred who began her career with owner-trainer John McKee, is a half-sister to Lady Tak, whose 10-for-19 record and $1.1 million bankroll were highlighted by Grade 1 wins in the Test and the Ballerina, plus a pair of Grade 2 scores in the Gallant Bloom and Fair Grounds Oaks.

In addition, Aye a Cat is a half-sister to Starofmynight, a rugged horse who compiled a 14-for-54 record racing primarily in Louisiana, where he won four in a row in 2004, including back-to-back allowance races on turf.

Aye a Cat finished far behind Just a Trick in the Triple Crown Nutrition last October. But whatever chances Aye a Cat had of running well as a maiden in that stakes vanished when she ran off before the start. So her last-place finish probably doesn’t represent her true abilities.

Aye a Cat looked good beating West Virginia-bred maiden special weight company in her 3-year-old debut in January. She then was claimed for $12,500 by trainer Simon Hobson on behalf of Philip Wheeler and will be making her first start for new connections Tuesday night.

Easter Fashion, trained by Ollie Figgins, is the logical horse to beat, based on three Beyer Speed Figures in the narrow range of 59 to 61 in her last five starts. She looks to snap an eight-race losing streak by cutting back following four straight two-turn races.

Just a Trick, owned and trained by McKee, will be reunited with jockey Carlos Castro for the first time since she wired a group of maidens going five furlongs at Mountaineer last October.