Updated on 08/11/2017 6:30PM

Stallwalkin' Dude does a three-peat in Tale of the Cat

Debra A. Roma
Stallwalkin' Dude paid $3.80 as the favorite in winning the Tale of the Cat at Saratoga on Friday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Stallwalkin’ Dude completed a unique hat trick when he rallied from last to win the $100,000 Tale of the Cat by a head over a stubborn Loose On the Town Friday at Saratoga.

It was the third straight year Stallwalkin’ Dude won the Tale of the Cat, named for a horse that won the Grade 2 King’s Bishop here in a nine-race career but who later developed into a top-class stallion.

“Some people are telling me they want to change the name of the race,” said David Jacobson, the owner/trainer of  Stallwalkin’ Dude. “But not until he’s done.”

The way he performed Friday, Stallwalkin’ Dude doesn’t appear close to being done.

Stallwalkin’ Dude had some help from his uncoupled stablemate Chief Lion, who ran an opening quarter in 21.96 seconds while dueling with Cadeyrn.

Stallwalkin’ Dude was last, 9 1/2 lengths back, under Joe Bravo.

Chief Lion ran a half-mile in 44.96 seconds, and that pace began to take its toll on Cadeyrn.

Loose On the Town, who broke alertly but then was taken back by Javier Castellano, re-engaged Chief Lion at the quarter pole. Loose On the Town made the lead at the eighth pole, but Stallwalkin’ Dude, swung six wide by Bravo turning for home, started revving up.

It took him the length of the stretch to run down Loose On the Town, but Stallwalkin Dude got there, covering the six furlongs in 1:09.75. He returned $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite.

Loose On the Town finished second by 3 1/4 lengths over Weekend Hideaway. He was followed, in order, by Candid Desire, Candip, Chief Lion and Cadeyrn.

Bravo seemed more content with where Stallwalkin’ Dude was earlier in the race than was Jacobson.

“As long as he’s comfortable the first part it seems to me he finishes so much better,” Bravo said. “If you use him early he just doesn’t have that kick. The farther back the more comfortable I am.”

“He was a little farther back than we had planned, but when I saw the fractions I knew he’d be right there,” Jacobson said. “The ‘Dude’ makes it exciting. He’s got such a big heart that he prevails more often than he doesn’t.”

Stallwalkin’ Dude, a 7-year-old gelding by City Place claimed by Jacobson for $16,000 three years ago, now has won 19 races from 55 starts and earned $1,482,853.