11/05/2014 1:58PM

Kitten's Point finds softer spot

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Barbara D. Livingston
Kitten’s Point (left), finishing second to Centre Court in the Honey Fox in April, could run in the Grade 1 Matriarch on Nov. 30 with a good race Friday.

Kitten’s Point had a tough assignment when she returned from a layoff of nearly six months in early October. She was a 13-1 shot in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland and finished seventh of nine.

“That was probably a bit ambitious,” trainer Graham Motion said last weekend.

Kitten’s Point should have an easier job on Friday in the $75,000 Kathryn Crosby Stakes at a mile on turf for fillies and mares at Del Mar. If Kitten’s Point runs well, she could start in another Grade 1 – the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes at a mile on turf for females here on Nov. 30.

:: DEL MAR OPENING DAY: Get PPs, watch Friday's card live

Friday’s program at Del Mar is the opening day of the track’s 15-day autumn meeting, which runs through Nov. 30. The Kathryn Crosby Stakes is restricted to fillies and mares who have not won a stakes worth $50,000 or more at a mile or over since April 1, except for statebred races. The race drew 14, but will have 12 starters, leaving Dutchessa and Zilber on the also-eligible list.

KEY CONTENDERS

Kitten’s Point (Last 3 Beyers: 92-88-94)

◗ Owned by George Strawbridge, Kitten’s Point won the Grade 3 Herescomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park in 2013. Her best race this year was in the Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March when she finished second by a nose.

◗ She was rested after finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland.

“She had some hind-end issues,” Motion said. “She was a disappointment in the Jenny Wiley.”

◗ Motion, who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf last Saturday with Main Sequence, said Kitten’s Point’s layoff should work in her favor.

“She’s a fresh horse, too,” he said.

Kathleen Rose (Last 3 Beyers: 82-85-86)

◗ Kathleen Rose will play a pivotal role in the Kathryn Crosby as the expected pacesetter.

◗ Trained by Mike Machowsky, Kathleen Rose has been favored in her last two starts, a third-place finish in the Solana Beach Handicap for California-breds at Del Mar in August, and when second in the restricted Swingtime Stakes at a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 4. In both races, she led into the stretch.

Bee Brave (Last 3 Beyers: 90-84-71)

◗ Bee Brave won an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar in August, and was a troubled fifth in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Sept. 27.

“She would have been third with a better trip,” trainer Simon Callaghan said.

◗ Callaghan said the Crosby distance is a bit short for Bee Brave, a three-time winner.

“She’s pretty versatile,” he said. “I’d probably prefer if it were a mile and a sixteenth to a mile and an eighth.”

Wishing Gate (Last 3 Beyers: 90-93-81)

◗ Wishing Gate has not started since the Del Mar summer meeting when she finished second in the Grade 2 John Mabee and sixth in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes on Sept. 1.

◗ Trained by Tom Proctor, Wishing Gate will likely race near the front.

◗ She is winless in five starts, all stakes, since a win in the Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita in October 2013.

Cyclops More than 1 year ago
Wow you didn't even mention the winner Queen of The Sand?!
James Pugliese More than 1 year ago
Great point! I really liked Lady Eli in the filly turf race in the breeders cup series,but did not know if she had tactical speed because in her previous race the early splits were so slow, i was worried about the possibility of getting stuck behind horses like Imperia had in the colt division race! God almighty that horse was right behind the leaders ,blasted right by in the stretch, even having a troubled lead change!
TRacingLifeMore More than 1 year ago
Do turf Beyers even matter? All the slow paces and crowding horses get into in turf racing tends to make speed figures a mute point in those races, as it becomes more about the trip. Anyone else have an opinion?
Cyclops More than 1 year ago
I don't like Beyer numbers. They throw me off.