06/17/2005 12:00AM

Only three take aim at favored 'Cat'


CALGARY, Alberta - Kathern's Cat is the odds-on favorite in Sunday's $50,000 Penny Ridge at Stampede Park. The traditional closing-day feature for 3-year-old fillies drew just four of the nine nominees.

Kathern's Cat was clearly the best in the one-mile Lilac here on May 29.

Under a firm hold from Quincy Welch, Kathern's Cat atoned for her disappointing race in the six-furlong Mount Royal and obviously appreciated the extra distance.

Kathern's Cat will carry high weight of 122 pounds under the allowance conditions of the 1 1/16-mile Penny Ridge. Leading jockey Welch will ride.

Kathern's Cat's rivals face a tall order, and Speedy Gone Sally, who drew the rail with Perry Winters up, will undoubtedly attempt to go wire to wire in the short field.

Speedy Gone Sally's connections employed front-running tactics in the Lilac, and the filly held on for place money after setting moderate fractions.

Although it was only Speedy Gone Sally's second start of the year, the Alberta-bred needs to pick it up several notches to challenge for the victory.

Wild Bender, a lightly raced daughter of Stephanotis, has some upside, as her dam, Wild Creek, won the Lilac and Penny Ridge here in 1997 and was trained by Dale Saunders, who also trains this filly.

Wild Bender has been assigned 115 pounds and breaks from post 3 under Rickey Walcott, who was aboard for her third-place finish in the Lilac.