10/08/2016 6:40PM

Curlin's Fox knocks off Breeders' Cup-bound Kitcat in Swingtime

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Benoit & Associates
Curlin's Fox, ridden by Gary Stevens, wins the Swingtime by 1 1/2 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Curlin’s Fox won 3 of 8 starts in 2015, a season remembered as much for disappointments as  triumphs.

This year, Curlin’s Fox is having a brighter campaign. After finishing second in her first start of the year in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Sept. 1, Curlin’s Fox won the second stakes of her career in Saturday’s $75,880 Swingtime Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile on turf at Santa Anita.

Curlin’s Fox finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Kitcat, a Chilean import who is scheduled to start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile here on Sept. 5.

Ridden by Gary Stevens, Curlin’s Fox ($7.80) was timed in 1:32.77.

Even though Kitcat was beaten, the performance met the satisfaction of trainer Sebastian Silva.

“The time is very” good, Silva said. “I think it was a good race. She hadn’t run in [nearly] five months.”

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The Swingtime was the first loss of the year for Kitcat in her fifth start. She earned a fees-paid berth to the BC Mile with a win in the Club Hipico Falabella in Chile in May.

Queen of the Sand finished third in the Swingtime, followed by Prize Exhibit, Dreamarcher, Into the Mystic, Salsita, The Dream, and Moon Over Paris. Jockey Santiago Gonzalez, who rode Dreamarcher, claimed foul against Queen of the Sand for alleged interference on the turn. The claim of foul was rejected by the stewards.

The Swingtime was restricted to fillies and mares who had not won a stakes worth $60,000 or more to the winner at a mile or more, other than statebred races, this year.

Curlin’s Fox has won 4 of 10 starts and earned $224,728 for owner and breeder Warren Williamson and trainer Carla Gaines.

In 2015, Curlin’s Fox won the minor Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar but was beaten in five other stakes.

“She had issues with bleeding,” Gaines said. “This year, she’s been a different horse. Everything is better this year.”