10/05/2014 7:55PM

Luck of the Kitten looks set to try Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

Benoit & Associates
A win in the Zuma Beach should propel Luck of the Kitten, ridden by Corey Nakatani, to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Luck of the Kitten has been on the move throughout his career, but he it looks like he will be putting down roots in Southern California for the next month, because his victory in the $101,250 Zuma Beach Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita should earn him spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf for 2-year-olds on Oct.  31.

 Luck of the Kitten had raced at Saratoga, Arlington Park, and Kentucky Downs, then was sent west by trainer Wesley Ward for the Zuma Beach. He responded by leading virtually from start to finish and now owns 2 wins and 2 seconds in 4 starts.

 With jockey Corey Nakatani aboard, Luck of the Kitten ($7.40) set fractions of 22.80 seconds, :46.55, and 1:11.42 for six furlongs before completing one mile on firm turf in 1:34.84, meaning he came his final quarter-mile in 23.42 seconds. He beat Red Button by 1 3/4 lengths, with John’s Success another length back in third.

 Dallas Skyline, the 3-2 favorite, was fourth, and was followed, in order, by Reflected Star, Peacenluvpeacenluv, Remo, Highway Boss, Lucky Forty Niner, and Rowdy Dylan, who was eased across the wire with an apparent injury to his right front leg. He was removed by ambulance and taken back to the barn of his trainer, Peter Miller.

 Nakatani was riding Luck of the Kitten for the first time, but he proved a quick study, no surprise for the best grass rider on this circuit.

 “He’s got a lot of ability. He’s got a high cruising speed,” Nakatani said. “He’s a big, strong colt. I got a chance to figure him out a little.”

 A deft, brilliant touch occurred going to the far turn, when Nakatani let Luck of the Kitten drift off the rail to the two path.

 “I was trying to not make the turn so tight for him,” Nakatani said. “He’s so big. I thought it would be easier for him to make the turn. He’s got so much talent.”

 Luck of the Kitten, by the prolific turf sire Kitten’s Joy, was bred and is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.