08/16/2003 12:00AM

Thistledown: Spring Cat beats males


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Spring Cat, one of two fillies in the six-horse field of Ohio-bred 2-year-olds in the $35,000 Loyalty Stakes, responded readily to energetic handling by rider Huber Villa-Gomez and caught the pacesetting Catch My Cat in the final strides. The margin of victory was a nose, and it was 6 1/2 lengths back to Cruzcat.

Spring Cat ($20.60), owned by Martin Brothers Inc., won for the second time in six days and ran the six furlongs in 1:12.68 over a fast track.

"I decided to run her about five hours ago," said trainer Joseph R. Martin. "She beat the boys, and her next start should be the Emerald Necklace on Sept. 13."