10/23/2013 12:26PM

Delta Downs: Bahnah looks to regroup in My Trusty Cat

Barbara D. Livingston
Bahnah will make her first start since undergoing minor throat surgery to correct a breathing problem in Friday night's My Trusty Cat Stakes.

Bahnah had been a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup, but a setback in the Spinaway sent her down a different path and on Friday night she will restart her season in the $150,000 My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. The race is a prep for her new endgame, the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess on Nov. 23.

The My Trusty Cat, a seven-furlong stakes run around two turns, drew a field of seven, including Ima Three Blinger, winner of a Delta allowance on Oct. 11; Lady Grantham, winner of a division of the Louisiana Stallion Stakes; and Synapse, daughter of the multiple stakes-winning racemare Sarah Lane’s Oates.

But the horse to beat is Bahnah. She has won 2 of 3 starts, the most prestigious being the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga in a dead heat on July 19. Bahnah was the favorite on the strength of a debut score at Churchill for which she earned a Beyer Figure of 91, one of the best numbers awarded to a 2-year-old filly so far in 2013. In her only other start, Bahnah briefly looked like a threat to win the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga on Sept. 1.

“I thought she was in a great position, and in the middle of the turn, I thought she was going to draw off,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Bahnah for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch.

But instead, Bahnah shut down and finished sixth. Calhoun said she was later found to have displaced her palate and she subsequently had a myectomy, a minor throat procedure designed to correct the breathing issue. Bahnah, who prior to the Spinaway had been a candidate for the BC Juvenile Fillies or Juvenile Fillies Turf, returned to the work tab toward the end of September. She shipped to the Evangeline Downs Training Center near Lafayette, La., two weeks ago to get settled in for the My Trusty Cat. Bahnah will be making her two-turn debut in the race run over a six-furlong track. 

“Delta is a good place to try two turns,” Calhoun said. “It’s kind of a smaller oval with a short stretch.

“She’s a small filly. She’s got speed, and while I don’t think you know how a horse will handle Delta until you try them there, I think she’s one who could handle it.”

Calhoun said with the right performance, Bahnah, who is to be ridden by Corey Lanerie, would advance to the Princess. The Princess is on the same card as the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. Nominations for both close Saturday.