01/09/2011 12:08PM

Snuggs and Kisses edges clear in Kachina Handicap


Snuggs and Kisses took an immediate liking to her new surroundings as the 4-year-old filly posted a mild upset in Saturday’s $25,000 Kachina Handicap at Turf Paradise.

Owned by L. Barrett Bernard and trained by Dennis Sowers, the daughter of Soto had previously campaigned in Kentucky and Florida and also was stepping up in class after a win over restricted $15,000 claimers at Churchill Downs on Nov. 11.

Under Juan Rivera, Snuggs and Kisses bided her time midpack in the field of seven distaffers going a mile on the main track, moved up eagerly to challenge into the lane, wrested command in midstretch, and edged away for a 1 1/4-length tally. Catana Perez set the pace under pressure and, while unable to go with the winner late, gamely stayed on for second. Table Mesa, the 1.30-1 favorite, dogged Catana Perez from the start, took the lead into the lane, but couldn’t sustain her run and finished third.

The race complexion changed some when major contender Spirit Seeker was scratched.

Snuggs and Kisses ran the mile in 1:35.96 and paid $15.20. The winner’s share of $15,000 gives her a career mark of $49,918 from 3 wins in 12 starts.