10/19/2010 1:34PM

Kitty in a Tizzy improves dramatically on Polytrack

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Switching to a synthetic surface has led to a filly named Kitty in a Tizzy running considerably faster, and now her trainer, Jim Bond, is hoping for a peak performance Saturday in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland.

Kitty in a Tizzy was unable to get through a first allowance condition when racing on dirt and turf, but once Bond sent her from his Saratoga base for three straight races over Polytrack at Woodbine, “the improvement has been tremendous,” said Bond. “Her last race came against a filly that’ll probably win a Sovereign Award,” referring to Kitty in a Tizzy finishing second to Biofuel in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at Woodbine. “I’m really happy with the progress she’s made.”

Kitty in a Tizzy is one of at least nine 3-year-old fillies that Keeneland racing officials are expecting for the $250,000 Raven Run, a seven-furlong Polytrack race that highlights the stakes schedule here this week. Bought here as a yearling in September 2008 for $260,000 by William Clifton Jr., Kitty in a Tizzy, by Tiznow, was scheduled to return here Wednesday as one of the top prospects for the Raven Run, which will have its 12th running Saturday.

“Seven furlongs is a pretty good distance for her,” said Bond. “She’s coming up to this the right way.”

After her disappointing efforts in Florida and New York, Kitty in a Tizzy won a June allowance race at Woodbine before back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Aug. 7 Duchess and Sept. 26 Selene at the Ontario track. Chantal Sutherland was aboard the filly in all three starts and has the mount back Saturday.

Other fillies likely for the Raven Run include Beautician, Chantilly Nayla, Katy Now, My Irish Girl, Negligee, and Red Hot Buddha. Entries were to be drawn Wednesday.

◗ Three-year-old fillies also will be in the spotlight at Keeneland on Friday, albeit when racing at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course. A group of 12, plus two also-eligibles, has entered the Grade 3, $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes, and there is no clear-cut favorite. Perhaps the top contenders are Jenny’s So Great, In the Slips, No Explaining, Persuading, and Neon Light. This will be the 20th running of the Valley View. It goes as the ninth of 10 Friday races.

◗ It took his little brother just two races to make it through his first allowance condition, but thus far, even through 33 starts, that modest milestone has eluded a 6-year-old gelding named Snake River Canyon. Owned by Greg Besinger, Snake River Canyon will take another crack at an allowance race when he runs in a full field of 12 in the sixth race Thursday. Snake River Canyon is by Gulch out of the Nureyev mare, Mien, which makes him a half-brother to Big Brown, who was unbeaten when he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2008. Now 5, Big Brown, by Boundary, stands at nearby Three Chimneys Farm.

◗ Dubious Miss, whose most recent start resulted in a victory in the biggest race for older main-track runners at the Keeneland spring meet, the Ben Ali in April, will make his next start in the biggest race of the fall meet in the division, the Fayette on closing day, Oct. 30. An allowance race last weekend failed to fill for the 6-year-old Dubious Miss who is returning from minor ankle surgery.

◗ A good race for leading trainer appears to be taking shape as the Keeneland fall meet hit its midpoint Wednesday. After 8 of 17 programs, Bill Mott led with 6 winners over a trio with 5: Wayne Catalano, Ken McPeek, and Graham Motion.

◗ For the third time in as many weeks, the upcoming Saturday card at Keeneland will precede a night home game for University of Kentucky football. This time, the opponent is Georgia, which traditionally has thousands of fans attend the races before the game. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

◗ Unlike the twice-a-week schedule normally employed, Churchill will open its turf course for training every day, starting Monday, as the Breeders’ Cup nears. The course will be open at the end of regular training hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Horses must have approval to be allowed onto the course.