Updated on 09/17/2011 2:13PM

Coney Kitty's luck improves in Hillsborough


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Coney Kitty's run of bad luck finally changed on Sunday when she finished a neck in front of Madeira Mist then survived a foul claim before being awarded the victory in the $100,000 Hillsborough(G3) Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Coney Kitty had run well but was denied victory in each of her last four starts dating back to the fall including a third place finish in Tampa's Endeavour Stakes in which she suffered through a very rough trip. But with Jose Santos putting up a confident ride, Coney Kitty raced well placed in mid-pack for six furlongs, worked her way through traffic around the second turn then outgamed Madeira Mist while drifting and pushing both the runnerup and third place finisher Alternate out in the final sixteenth.

Jockey Edgar Prado, who rode the 5-2 favorite Madeira Mist, lodged a claim of foul against the winner for alleged interference through the stretch but after deliberating for several minutes the stewards allowed the result to stand as is.

"She came out pretty good and my horse ended up in the seven path at the wire," said Prado.

"His(Prado) horse horse hit mine in behind and made her go sideways a bit," explained Santos while awaiting the stewards decision.

Coney Kitty, a 6-year-old daughter of Lycius, paid $7.80 as the second choice in a full field of 12 fillies and mares. Her final time for a mile and one furlong was 1:48.83 seconds over a firm course.

"She's been knocking on the door and our main concern was it she could take a mile and one eighth today," said Emanuel Davy, assistant to trainer James Toner who was on a plane from New York and did not get to see the race. "She's had some bad racing luck and almost had some more bad luck with the foul claim. Fortunately she was able to turn the tables today."