02/02/2012 1:32PM

Sam Houston: Category Seven takes steep class drop for Jersey Lily


Category Seven will launch what is likely her final season of racing on Saturday night, when she drops in from Grade 1 company for the $50,000 Jersey Lily at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

A field of 11 fillies and mares will go in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, including Pleasantly Blessed and Vickies in Town, a pair of multiple stakes winners coming off races at Fair Grounds.

Category Seven, a 7-year-old mare who has won six stakes and $562,911 for James Perron, last ran in the First Lady at Keeneland on Oct. 8. She was never really involved in the one-mile turf race, and for good reason. Her trainer, Kenneth Hargrave, said a horse hit her from behind in the early stages of the stakes, and the contact led to an injury.

“She hurt her hind end,” he said. “She twisted a hock. We gave her plenty of time off.”

For Category Seven’s first start in four months, she shows a series of works at a training center in Lafayette, La.

“It’s a real deep track,” Hargrave said. “I think she’s fit enough.”

Category Seven, who prior to the First Lady was third by a half-length in the $100,000 River Cities at Louisiana Downs, will break from post 10 under Marlon St. Julien.

“Marlon rode her once, rode her in Indiana,” Hargrave said. “He did a real good job. He knows her.”

St. Julien guided the late-running Category Seven to a win in the $106,000 Shelby County Stakes at Indiana Downs in June.

The field Saturday includes Artemus Kitten, a multiple stakes-placed runner who in her last start won a first-level allowance at Fair Grounds. She invades for trainer Mike Maker, who last weekend won the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston with Papaw Bodie.

Florida, Louisiana options for Papaw Bodie

Papaw Bodie, a $50,000 claim who won his fourth straight race in the Connally, has a couple of options for his next start, said Maker.

“I’m not sure if we’ll bring him back to Gulfstream Park and run back in the Pan American,” he said, “or leave him at Fair Grounds and run in the Mervin Muniz.”

The Pan American, a Grade 3, $150,000 race at 1/2 miles on turf, is March 24. The Grade 2, $400,000 Muniz at about 1 1/8 miles on turf is April 1.

Papaw Bodie won his first stakes in the Connally, and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89.