Updated on 09/18/2011 1:36AM

Discreet Cat stays perfect in Cigar

Lauren J. Pomeroy/Horsephotos
Discreet Cat ends his 2006 season with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.

Facing the toughest field he has met in his brief career, Discreet Cat, under Garrett Gomez, rolled to a 3 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 to remain undefeated in six career starts. In the process, he set a stakes record and equaled a 17-year-old Aqueduct track record.

Discreet Cat covered one mile in 1:32.46, which eclipsed the stakes record of 1:32.80 shared by Dispersal and Quiet American, the latter owned by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, who also owns Discreet Cat. The time when translated to fifths (1:32 2/5), equals the track record set by Easy Goer in the 1989 Gotham. Discreet Cat paid $2.50 to win.

“This is the best race he’s ever run in his life,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who came to New York after watching Ashkal Way win the Grade 1 Citation Handicap Friday at Hollywood Park. “He won before easy, but this was different.”

This was different because he was facing older graded stakes winners for the first time while spotting them weight. At 124 pounds, Discreet Cat spotted four to eight pounds to the field.

Gomez initially wanted to take Discreet Cat outside of Sharp Humor, who under Cornelio Velasquez jumped out on top and ran an opening quarter in 22.72 seconds. But Sharp Humor was getting out, so Gomez guided Discreet Cat inside of him and just outside of Silver Train, who flashed speed along the rail.

Sharp Humor then dropped back over and those three were within a half-length of each other after running a half-mile in 44.83 seconds. Sharp Humor soon retreated and Discreet Cat and Silver Train remained heads apart through six furlongs in 1:07.75.

But Gomez had yet to ask Discreet Cat for his best. When he moved his hands on Discreet Cat inside the eighth pole, the colt opened up and won with Gomez just waving his whip at him. Badge of Silver rallied to nip Silver Train by a neck for second in what is expected to be the last race for both of those horses.

“I had plenty of horse; my only concern was when I looked back I couldn’t tell how fast Badge of Silver was coming,” Gomez said. “He was hiding behind us; when I took a peak back at the eighth pole I could see him so I showed [Discreet Cat] the stick a couple of times and he went about his business.”

Discreet Cat is scheduled to ship to Payson Park in Florida on Tuesday where he will do 30 days of quarantine before shipping to Dubai at the end of December. Suroor said Discreet Cat would most likely run in the Maktoum Challenge in February as a prep for the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 31. Thereafter, he is slated to return to New York for a summer and fall campaign.

“He will be one of the best horses next year in the U.S.,” Suroor said.