08/03/2013 1:03PM

Hastings: Wilo Kat seeks first stakes win in B.C. Cup Classic

Four-Footed Fotos
Physically and mentally he couldn’t be doing any better,” trainer John Snow said of Wilo Cat.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Wilo Kat will be a short price when he shoots for his first stakes win in the $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic at Hastings on Monday. The 1 1/8-mile Classic for 3-year-olds and up drew nine horses and headlines a strong card that features full and competitive fields in each of the six stakes races restricted to British Columbia-breds.

Last year 48 horses ran in the six stakes. This year the shortest field is in the B.C. Cup Nursery where eight 2-year-olds will start in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint. If the card holds together, a total of 59 horses will make it to the post in the six stakes that make up the bulk of the nine-race card.

The absence of a horse like Taylor Said, who treated the 2012 Classic like a workout when he carried 128 pounds to a 6 1/4-length romp over his four overmatched rivals, has a lot to do with the Classic attracting more horses. Taylor Said went on to win the Grade 3 Longacres Mile 13 days later.

The only stakes winner in this year’s Classic is the 12-year-old gelding Trick of the North, who won the Grade 3 Premiers in 2009 and the Classic in 2010. He is well past his prime, though, and will be a longshot Monday.

Wilo Kat is clearly the one to beat, but he looked like a cinch when he fished second to Liberty Cap as the odds-on favorite in an allowance race July 19. Wilo Kat was coming off two solid races against open stakes company, and his second to Herbie D in the $50,000 Lieutenant Governors on July 1 was flattered when Herbie D came back to set a stakes record in the Mount Rainier at Emerald Downs on July 21.

Trainer John Snow wasn’t concerned about Wilo Kat not winning a race he should have won.

“He’s quite relaxed right now, which is great for him,” said Snow. “Physically and mentally he couldn’t be doing any better.”

Aaron Gryder will ride Wilo Kat for the first time.

There should be an honest pace and that could help Shintoism, who is coming off a fast-closing second in a $25,000 claiming race a couple of races earlier on the same card as Wilo Kat’s last race. Trained by Cindy Krasner, Shintoism earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 79, compared with the 73 of Wilo Kat, and he could take a big step forward in his second straight route.

Speed will be provided by Similkameen Joey, The Gov, and Stormy Canuck.