08/30/2012 5:29PM

Saratoga: Miami Cat rallies to neck victory in Equalize

Barbara D. Livingston
Miami Cat (1A), with Rajiv Maragh riding, gets past Film Shot to win the Equalize.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Phil Gleaves was hoping to find an allowance race for Miami Cat's second start of the Saratoga meet. Instead, the lightly raced 3-year-old bailed out his more accomplished entrymate Csaba and all his backers when he rallied to a neck victory over Film Shot in Thursday's $100,000 Equalize Stakes.

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Miami Cat, a 3-year-old son of Powerful Goer, finished a troubled fourth making his turf debut here on Aug. 19, and with nothing on the horizon for him either at Saratoga or early during the Belmont meet, Gleaves decided to bring him right back along with Csaba in the one-mile Equalize. And under a brilliant ride by Rajiv Maragh, Miami Cat rallied from mid-pack, splitting rivals with his final surge to outkick Film Shot to the wire.

Film Shot rallied along the hedge and just ahead of the winner leaving the final turn, finished willingly, and just failed. Yari stalked the pace and held gamely to be third.  Csaba loomed a major factor rallying three wide into the stretch but had nothing left thereafter and beat just one horse, the 8-5 favorite, Finale, who also came up empty when asked through the final furlong in his first start of the year.  

Miami Cat, who finished sixth in his only previous stakes try this spring at Calder, is owned by Gleaves in partnership with Bruce Hollander and the Sea Horse Stable. Although he would have been a much larger price had he been a separate betting entity, Miami Cat returned just $9.10 as part of the entry along with Csaba.

"We were going to run him in an allowance race as you know, but there was no allowance race that was going to go right now," said Gleaves. "I loved his last race. He had a world of trouble, so I figured let's take a shot, we're here.

Gleaves said he always felt turf would be the surface Miami Cat would like best.

"I always thought he'd like the grass, and he breezed well on the grass in Florida before we got here," said Gleaves. "And Rajiv gave him an excellent ride. He got him switched off down the back side and weaved his way through horses. I don't know how he did that. As for Csaba, he'll go right back to the dirt. This was an experiment, we had to put it to bed, and you will not see Csaba on the green again unless he's eating it."