09/30/2010 1:03PM

Ima Wild Pussycat strong at two turns


In the first two starts of her career, the 2-year-old filly Ima Wild Pussycat was anything but impressive, beaten a combined 21 lengths while earning mediocre Beyer Speed Figures of 31 and 49.

A dramatic change occurred when trainer Greg Sacco stretched out Ima Wild Pussycat around two turns, however. She romped by 7 1/4 lengths and soared to a 75 Beyer.

Ima Wild Pussycat will try and build upon that success and capitalize on her experience in a route when she faces six other 2-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $75,000 Blue Hen Stakes at Delaware Park.

Sacco explained that Ima Wild Pussycat was hindered bya combination of bad luck and distances that were less than ideal in her first two races.

“In her first race, she was bothered by a loose horse,” said Sacco, referring to her career debut at Monmouth Park, where she finished a distant third of seven going five furlongs. “The loose horse basically bothered her throughout the race.”

Ima Wild Pussycat improved slightly on the Beyer scale, but finished fifth of eight in her second start going 5 1/2 furlongs.
“In her second race, she blew a shoe at the start, so her first two races were not easy,” Sacco said. “Plus, her first two races were sprinting, and she is bred to run all day.”

Ima Wild Pussycat’s sire, Congaree was a five-time Grade 1 winner, including the Cigar Mile, and finished third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, so Sacco wasn’t surprised Ima Wild Pussycat improved greatly when she got more ground.

“In her last race, her first time stretching out, she put it all together,” Sacco said. “She had a professional performance, so we are just hoping to build and work from there.”

Ima Wild Pussycat and Summer Soiree, a Cindy Jones-trained filly who won an off-the-turf maiden route at Delaware on Aug. 16, are the only fillies in the Blue Hen field who have won going long.

A three-horse coupled entry for owner Edward Evans, however, is the 3-5 favorite on the track’s morning line. The best of the group is the Todd Pletcher-trained Summer Laugh, who dominated her career debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 8. Pletcher is 5 for 10 with 2-year-old maiden winners stretching out to a route for the first time, according to DRF’s Formulator.

Her stablemates Dixie City and Probe are both cross-entered in a first-level allowance worth $70,000 on Saturday’s card at Parx Racing.