02/20/2010 12:00AM

Courageous Cat scores in Canadian Turf

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Bob Coglianese
Courageous Cat, with Garrett Gomez up, finishes a half-length in front of Cherokee Artist on Saturday in the Grade 2 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Courageous Cat likely earned himself a trip to Dubai after digging in gamely to outlast the 26-1 Cherokee Artist by a half-length in Saturday's at Gulfstream Park.

Making his first start since finishing second to the champion Goldlikova in the Breeders' Cup Mile, Courageous Cat stalked the pace of Jet Propulsion from the outset of the one-mile Canadian, forged to a short lead in early stretch, and then withstood a final surge by Cherokee Artist to register his second graded stakes in. A son of Storm Cat, Courageous Cat also won the Grade 2 Hall of Fame last summer at Saratoga.

Courageous Cat paid $3.80 after running a mile in 1:31.58 over a firm course under jockey Garrett Gomez.

"We were really excited about him coming back as well as he's been training for the last month, although you are always a little concerned about their first race back," said Bill Mott who trains Courageous Cat for owners Pam and Martin Wygod. "The race developed about the way we expected, although I thought there might be another horse to go with the pacesetter. He did get a little tired towards the end, which was to be expected after the layoff."

Mott said the Dubai Duty Free would be next for Courageous Cat.

"He's been invited to the one mile and one eighth race in Dubai, and we've been looking at going in that direction for some time," Mott said. "If all goes well, that's where we'll go."

Honey Fox: Wasted Tears extends streak

Wasted Tears wasted little time sprinting to the lead and then never looked back en route to a half-length triumph over Quiet Harbor in the . The victory was the fourth in a row for Wasted Tears and snapped Quiet Harbor's five-race win streak.

Wasted Tears, a homebred daughter of Najran owned by trainer Bart Evans, notched her second Grade 3 win in the one-mile Honey Fox. She had captured the Grade 3 Ouija Board at Lone Star last May before going to the sidelines for eight months due to a staph infection on her spine.

Wasted Tears set lively fractions in the Honey Fox, posting splits of 22.44 seconds and 46.99 for the opening quarter and half-mile while chased by Romacaca from the outset. Wasted Tears edged away when set down by jockey Cornelio Velasquez in early stretch and then had enough left to hold off Quiet Harbor and Akilina who rallied belatedly along the rail to finish third.

Wasted Tears covered a mile in 1:33.81 and paid $21.60.

"It's very gratifying to win a race with a horse you bred and have raised," Evans said. "I was the first person on her back, the first to walk her through the gates. To see her do well is like seeing your kids do well. It's very satisfying."

Evans said he was briefly concerned when they hung the 22 and change opening split.

"Drawing the outside like that was like breaking from Tampa Bay Downs, but she's got natural speed so why tamper with success," said Evans. "I was worried when I saw that 22 go up but I would have been more concerned if she had to work to get to the front. I felt a lot better when the next split was 46 and change and Cornelio was able to give her a chance to catch her breath."