06/23/2011 5:36PM

Delaware Park: Wildcat Aly makes stakes debut in Sweet and Sassy Stakes


When trainer Mike Stidham put up $30,000 to claim Wildcat Aly out of a win at Fair Grounds in early March, he was hopeful the 4-year-old filly might be a useful horse to bring to Delaware Park this summer. He just didn’t imagine her first Delaware appearance would come in a six-figure stakes.

Wildcat Aly, riding a four-race winning streak in claiming and allowance company, steps up significantly for Saturday’s $125,000 Sweet and Sassy Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.

Among the six opponents Wildcat Aly must face in her stakes debut are multiple graded stakes winner Tar Heel Mom and Indian Legend, who nosed out Tar Heel Mom in last month’s $250,000 My Juliet at Parx Racing.

Stidham said he got the evidence he was looking for – that indicated Wildcat Aly was ready to tackle tougher competition – when she scored by 6 1/2 lengths over a sloppy, sealed track in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer at Parx. She earned a career-best 88 Beyer Speed Figure for the win.

The horses that Wildcat Aly beat at Parx may not have been a strong bunch. All four horses who finished behind her that day have come back to race again. All of them lost with mediocre to poor Beyers of 69, 68, 56, and 31.
Wildcat Aly will likely have to run better than an 88 Beyer to compete with Indian Legend and Tar Heel Mom, who each were awarded a 96 in the May 28 My Juliet.

Indian Legend, based at Parx with trainer Cynthia Reese, must pick up nine pounds off her My Juliet victory as the 123-pound highweight in the Sweet and Sassy. That is a 14-pound weight shift in favor of Tar Heel Mom, who gets in at 119 after carrying 124 in the My Juliet.
Tar Heel Mom has won four stakes over the past two seasons, including the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream Park in January and the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in 2010.