07/28/2011 3:23PM

Del Mar: Courageous Cat may show for Del Mar Mile

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Benoit & Associates
Courageous Cat., with Patrick Valenzuela riding, wins the Shoemaker Mile.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Courageous Cat may be back in California next month for an attempt at a second major stakes win in as many visits.

Owner Marty Wygod and trainer Bill Mott said on Thursday that Courageous Cat is a candidate for the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf on Aug. 27, which could be the 5-year-old’s first start since a win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on July 2. “We’re seriously thinking of it,” Wygod said.

Mott said the issue is how to approach the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in November, and whether to give Courageous Cat one start or two. A one-start campaign would likely result in an appearance in the Woodbine Mile in Canada in September, while a two-race approach is likely to include the Del Mar Mile and the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland in October.

Currently, Courageous Cat is based in New York with Mott and has been restricted to galloping in recent weeks, though that will change when plans are finalized, the trainer said.

“I haven’t breezed him quite yet, because there is nowhere to go,” Mott said. “We ran two races close together. He’s been galloping daily.”

Courageous Cat’s win in the Shoemaker Mile was preceded by a win in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes at Belmont Park in June, his only other start this year. Co-owned by Wygod’s wife, Pam, Courageous Cat has won 6 of 13 starts and $961,300.

The Wygods bred Courageous Cat, who is by Storm Cat out of the millionaire multiple stakes winner Tranquility Lake.

Another well-bred Wygod runner, Calimonco, won his first stakes in Wednesday’s $92,040 Wickerr Stakes. Trained by John Sadler, and formerly trained by Mott, Calimonco ($43.40) won the Wickerr Stakes over a mile on turf by a nose over pacesetter John Johny Jak. Victor Espinoza rode Calimonco.

The win left Calimonco far behind the career accomplishments of his two older sisters – Sweet Catomine and Life Is Sweet, millionaires who won Breeders’ Cup races.

The win improved Calimonco’s career record to 4 wins in 24 starts and earnings of $240,466 for owner-breeders Marty and Pam Wygod. By comparison, Sweet Catomine, the 2004 champion 2-year-old filly, earned $1,059,600, and Life Is Sweet, the winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita, earned $1,820,810 in her career.

Wygod and Sadler said on Thursday that they did not have a next race goal for Calimonco, a 5-year-old by Storm Cat.

Sadler filly good to go

Sadler is highly optimistic that the 2-year-old filly Regal Betty can win her debut in Saturday’s fourth race, but warns that another first-time starter, the 2-year-old colt Majestic Moment, may need the experience of Saturday’s sixth race for maiden 2-year-olds.

“The filly is more precocious and the colt could use more distance,” Sadler said. “I want to get the colt started.”

When asked if Regal Betty can win, Sadler said, “Probably. She’s good.”

Regal Betty, purchased for $250,000 at the March Ocala Breeders Sale of 2-year-olds in-training, is by Congrats and has worked steadily since early June. She drew the outside in a field of eight that includes three other first-time starters, notably Silent Saga who was bred by owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho. Cho has an excellent record with first-time starters in recent years.

Of the fillies who have started, Cascina, third in her debut on July 7, will be well-backed.

Majestic Moment, purchased for $470,000 at the February Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of 2-year-olds in-training, is one of six first-time starters in a field of 10. Cloud Hopper, who lost his debut by a nose after a big finish at Hollywood Park on July 3, will be favored.

Trainer Bob Baffert starts Drill, a Lawyer Ron colt who cost $300,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Mark Glatt starts Dr. Evil, a gray Bernardini colt who jockey Mike Smith has worked “several times” in recent weeks, the trainer said.