08/11/2008 11:00PM

Draw aids Queen of the Catsle


DEL MAR, Calif. - A significant switch in post positions gives trainer Howard Zucker the hope that his filly Queen of the Catsle can avenge a loss to Whatsitgonnatake when those two meet again at five furlongs on turf in Thursday's featured $61,000 seventh race at Del Mar.

On July 17, Whatsitgonnatake, who started from the rail, sneaked through along the inside and held off the late bid of Queen of the Catsle to win by a neck. On Thursday, however, Whatsitgonnatake starts from post 8 over a course that tends to favor the inside draw. Queen of the Catsle starts from post 5. Nine, including one also-eligible, are entered in the race, an optional-claimer for second-level allowance fillies and mares, and those eligible to be claimed for $62,500.

"I thought she should have won last time," Zucker said. "She's an honest-to-goodness filly. The favorite got through inside, and I got beat a neck."

Queen of the Catsle has never finished worse than second in four turf sprints. Whatsitgonnatake is even more consistent. Since arriving on this circuit after beginning her career in the Midwest, Whatsitgonnatake has captured three straight turf sprints, at Hollywood Park and Del Mar, which improved her grass record to 7 for 12.

Whatsitgonnatake, as in her previous races on this circuit, is eligible to be claimed. Joel Rosario is back aboard her, and her trainer, Mike Mitchell, said the young rider, far from being hindered by the outside post, should be able to use it to his advantage.

"I don't know that that will hurt her," Mitchell said. "She rates well. No one can shut her off from out there. The jock can lay off the speed, or he can go."

Perfectly Natural, who was third in the July 17 race, is back to try again.

Other top contenders include Squeeze Me Tight, who won a similar optional-claiming race at Hollywood Park on May 30 and has won twice in her last three starts, and Lochinvar's Gold, who beat a first-level allowance field going five furlongs on turf here July 18.

Briecat, the lone 3-year-old in the field, makes her first start since April.

Race 7 is one of two optional-claiming races on Thursday's card for older fillies and mares. The other, at a mile on Polytrack, goes as race 2 and has attracted Street Match and Dona Amelia, who finished third and fourth, respectively, under similar conditions on July 21. The winner of that race, Model, came back to finish second to unbeaten Zenyatta in the Clement Hirsch Handicap on Aug. 2.