01/19/2018 10:36AM

Midwest stallions: Cowtown Cat stands out in Ohio

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Barbara D. Livingston
Cowtown Cat's first Ohio-conceived foals will race this year.

Cowtown Cat moved to Ohio from Florida in time for the 2015 breeding season – meaning his first Buckeye State offspring are juveniles of 2018. Their arrival on the track this year will give Mapleton Thoroughbred Farm much to look forward to, as the stallion keys a strong three-horse roster for the farm.

Runners by multiple graded stakes winner Cowtown Cat, a son of Distorted Humor, banked $2,009,800 in 2017, easily outpacing Meadow Springs’s City Weekend with $693,499. Checking in third on the general sires list was Indy Wind at $603,387, as he powers another prominent state-based roster at Poplar Creek Horse Center.

Cowtown Cat’s runners were led by Florida-bred Tiger Blood, who won 2 of 5 starts during his 4-year-old campaign in 2017. That included a pair of stakes victories at Tampa Bay Downs, the Pelican Stakes and the Hilton Garden Inn/Hampton Inn and Suites Sprint Stakes. In the latter race, which he won by 4 1/2 lengths, Tiger Blood blitzed the six furlongs in 1:08.92, just missing the track record of 1:08.67 established in 2012 by It’s Me Mom. Tiger Blood also placed in last year’s Jeblar Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

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Cowtown Cat’s other top runners of 2017 included Calgary Cat, who died of a cardiovascular event following a race in August at Woodbine. Calgary Cat, Canada’s champion sprinter of 2014, was multiple Grade 2-placed in his final season.

Mapleton Thoroughbred Farm, which was founded by George R. Sikora and John P. Bryk, also stands Mobil, a perennial top 10 stallion in Ohio, and newcomer Awesome Patriot. The farm, in a statement on its website, describes its breeding philosophy as “Breed the best to the best that one can afford.”

“Obviously, our philosophy parallels just about everyone else’s in the Thoroughbred business,” the statement continues. “However, we differ to a degree, in that we like to move a step closer to success by breeding to bloodstock that is proven.”

Awesome Patriot, who previously stood at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, sired stakes-placed winners Amberspatriot and Waki Patriot in his first crop. A full brother to Preakness winner Oxbow, Awesome Patriot is from the immediate family of prominent sire Tiznow, as well as classic-placed top 10 freshman sire Paynter.

Along with Awesome Patriot, whose runners combined to bank $290,548 in their first season of racing, other top freshmen in Ohio included Poplar Creek’s Twinspired, at $84,927. The stallion is by the late Harlan’s Holiday, whose prominent sons at stud include Into Mischief and Shanghai Bobby.

Poplar Creek linchpin Indy Wind was led in 2017 by Starship Jubilee, who won the Dance Smartly and Nassau stakes, both Grade 2 events at Woodbine. In addition to Indy Wind and Twinspired, Poplar Creek’s roster includes top 10 general sires Parents’ Reward, Factum, and Kiss the Kid, and fourth-place freshman sire Birdrun.

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