04/04/2012 1:51PM

Santa Anita: Clean trip may be all Cat Talk needs


ARCADIA, Calif. – Cat Talk was beaten 1 1/4 lengths in a troubled trip in an allowance race on March 3, a loss that left trainer Jim Cassidy frustrated.

Cat Talk was in traffic on the rail with a furlong remaining in that one-mile turf race. With a clean trip, Cassidy has a strong opinion of where Cat Talk could have finished.

“He wins,” Cassidy said. “Now we’ve got to do it again.”

Cat Talk is entered in a $58,000, first-level allowance race over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Friday. Owned by a partnership, Cat Talk has won 2 of 9 starts and $91,314. He won consecutive races on turf at Hollywood Park last summer – a maiden race and an optional claimer for California-breds on turf – when trained by Paddy Gallagher.

A 4-year-old gelding by Tale of the Cat, Cat Talk made his first start for Cassidy on March 3. Mike Smith rode Cat Talk for the first time that day and has the mount on Friday.

“Mike knows what happened,” Cassidy said of the March 3 race. “He said he never got a chance to run.”

Cassidy said that Cat Talk is “dead fit” for Friday’s race.

The competition includes Circle the Moon, a 4-year-old gelding who won an optional claimer for California-breds over a mile on turf on Feb. 12 in his last start. Trained by Bruce Headley for his wife, Aase, Circle the Moon has been first or second in his last three starts.

Circle the Moon is best when racing on or near the lead, making him a major threat in Friday’s race.

The pace is likely to come from Don Perico, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Marty Jones. Don Perico has raced primarily in turf sprints in the last five months, including a win in an optional claimer for California-breds on Feb. 2. Don Perico was seventh in an allowance race on the hillside turf course on March 10.

Twin Six may be near the front. Trained by Carla Gaines, Twin Six won a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood Park in November, but was fourth and seventh in allowance races around two turns on turf in February and March.

There is one stakes winner in the field in Slammer Time, who won the California Cup Juvenile in October 2010 but is winless in four subsequent starts.