03/22/2017 12:36PM

Kitten's Cat favored at 4-1 in full field for Spiral Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Kitten's Cat drew the No. 8 post for the Spiral Stakes.

CINCINNATI – Kitten’s Cat was pegged a lukewarm 4-1 morning-line favorite when a full field of 3-year-olds was drawn Wednesday at the Jack Cincinnati Casino for the Grade 3, $500,000 Spiral Stakes, the annual showcase event at Turfway Park across the Ohio River in Florence, Ky.

The 46th Spiral, to be run late Saturday afternoon as the 10th of 12 races, offers 85 qualifying points to the May 6 Kentucky Derby. Although none of the 12 horses entered has been mentioned as a serious Derby contender, the Spiral winner will earn 50 points and therefore a sure berth in the race. The runner-up will get 20 points, which typically puts that horse on the cusp of making the cut.

As with other Spiral contenders, Kitten’s Cat has specialized in turf racing and is an unknown quantity on dirt. That’s not an issue of consequence – yet – since the 1 1/8-mile Spiral will be run for the 12th straight year over Polytrack, a surface known to sometimes favor turf horses.

Luis Saez has a return call from trainer Joe Sharp on Kitten’s Cat, a two-time stakes winner who was assigned post 8. Next on the Turfway morning line compiled by Mike Battaglia are Parlor (post 9, Jesus Castanon, 5-1), King and His Court (post 11, Gary Boulanger, 5-1), and Soglio (post 2, Trevor McCarthy, 6-1).

Out-of-town jockeys were named on all 12 Spiral horses.

From the rail, this is the Spiral lineup: Blueridge Traveler, Soglio, Fast and Accurate, Convict Pike, Colonel Samsen, Giant Payday, Shiraz, Kitten’s Cat, Parlor, Bronson, King and His Court, and En Hanse.

Jack Cincinnati Casino is the title sponsor of the Spiral, which has undergone numerous name changes since its 1972 inaugural at Turfway, known then as Latonia. Jack is the new name for the Horseshoe casino, which was the title sponsor in recent runnings.

First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Eastern, with the Spiral set for 5:55. Two other stakes directly precede the Spiral as opening links in a pick-four wager (races 8-11): the $100,000 Rushaway (race 8, post 4:33) and the Grade 3, $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (race 9, post 5:09), a qualifying points race for the Kentucky Oaks. A maiden special weight race goes as race 11.

General admission is $5. Turfway management has reported brisk sales for its expansive party tent located across the track from the eighth pole.

Gates open at 9 a.m., with wagering available on the Dubai World Cup from Meydan.