08/09/2006 11:00PM

Two head into Cup off lengthy victories


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Two fillies who each won her last start by a huge margin headline a field of seven in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Horseshoe Cup at Fort Erie on Saturday.

Grab the Cat and At First Sight earned career-high Beyer Speed Figures of 84 and 74, respectively, for their recent efforts.

Grab the Cat scored by 6 3/4 lengths in a $20,000 claimer and At First Sight by 16 1/2 lengths at the bottom level of $4,000.

The Golden Horseshoe, for fillies and mares, is the third of 18 scheduled $30,000 Cup races, which require entrants to have had three previous starts at the meet.

The Golden Horseshoe is being run as a starter allowance, requiring a start at a claiming price of $5,000 or less in 2005-06.

Grab the Cat, 4, has been claimed four times this year. The first three times were at Oaklawn Park, for tags of $10,000, $10,000, and $12,500.

Brought to Canada, Grab the Cat finished second in her two starts at Woodbine, first at the $20,000 claiming level and then for $12,500. Then it was off to the Fort, where Grab the Cat has now won three straight races.

The first tally was at $7,500, the second at $5,000. In her latest win, Grab the Cat was claimed by trainer Daryl Ezra for client Stephen Chesney.

Elevated to the $20,000 level 13 days later, on July 31, Grab the Cat romped to a front-running score. If victorious on Saturday, Grab the Cat will be the first horse to win four times at the meet.

Ezra, who is also the Fort Erie race-caller, is not overly confident of his filly's chances.

"It's tough keeping a filly going," said Ezra. "They're inconsistent, I find. [Jockey Neil Poznansky] did a great job when the pace picked up last time. This filly doesn't need the lead. She showed she can rate and win."

At First Sight, 4, trained by Carlton Johnston, bounced back for her authoritative score after being drubbed in a sprint in her previous start. At First Sight has won three of her 11 starts. All the wins were at 1 1/16 miles.

The first two Cup races went last weekend: Cielavia won the Fort Erie Slots Cup for trainer Jack Wilson, and Fire the Firm captured the Parnitha for Mark Fournier.

* On Saturdays during August, the Fort is presenting a concert in the paddock immediately after the final race. The Sandy Vine Trio provides the entertainment this Saturday.