The Joe Sharp trained Kitten’s Cat is the 4-1 morning line favorite in a of field of 12 that will line up on Saturday in the $500,000 Jack Cincinnati Casino Spiral (G3), one of three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on tap this weekend.
The Spiral offers up 50-20-10-5 points toward entry into this year’s Run for the Roses. The last horse to prep in the Spiral and go on to win the Kentucky Derby as Animal Kingdom in 2011 for trainer Graham Motion.
Motion has won the Spiral three times and will saddle Soglio (6-1), who was third against Alw-1 foes and second in the Eddie Logan at Santa Anita on turf in his last two starts.
Kitten’s Cat was second in the Palm Beach (G3) and won the Kitten’s Joy two back, both at Gulfstream Park. Seven of the last nine Spiral winners raced at least once prior on turf at Gulfstream Park. The colt is currently listed at 80-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at US Racing.
The $2 million UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan will offer up 100-40-20-10 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby. 16 were entered including the Todd Pletcher trained Master Plan (6-1), who won the OBS Championship at Ocala in his three-year-old debut.
The 8-5 morning line favorite is Thunder Snow, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) in his last outing at Meydan returning off a 3 ½ month break for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
Also in the field is Epicharis (5-1) who has stamped his ticket to Louisville with his win in Japan in the Hyacinth Stakes and Lancaster Bomber (7-1) who makes his first start since his runner up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall.
Sunday’s $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park will offer up 50-20-10-5 Derby points.
Let’s head out to Turfway Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Turfway Park Race 10 The Jack Cincinnati Casino Spiral (G3) Post time 5:55 ET
8 Kitten’s Cat 4-1
10 Bronson 10-1
9 Parlor 5-1
11 King and His Court 5-1
Kitten’s Cat makes his first career start on the fake stuff here after racing only on turf in his first seven starts, picking up three wins. The colt pressed the early pace and grabbed the lead heading for home but could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish in the Palm Beach (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The colt won the Kitten’s Joy two back at a mile and also won the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last November. The colt is trained by Mike Maker who won this race last year with Oscar Nominated. Seven of the last nine winners of the Spiral have run previously on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Bronson was a game winner against Alw-1 optional claimers in the slop at Gulfstream Park in a race washed off the turf in his second start off the bench. He made two starts last year, breaking his maiden in his debut and then running fourth in the Sanford (G3). He ran on turf two back off the bench, rallying to finish second against Alw-1 optional claimers.
His speed figures are coming up light but it looks as if he may take to the poly. He is by Medaglia d’Oro out of the stakes winner Cambiocorsa ($522,055) who was best sprinting on turf and who has dropped four other winners and three are stakes winners, top earner Moulin de Mougin ($313,660) who was best going long on turf. Pletcher has won the Spiral three times, most recently with We Miss Artie in 2014.
Parlor has won two of his three starts with his lone coming by a neck in a runner up finish in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile last September. He came back off a five-month layoff last out to beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Tampa Bay Downs at 6-5 in a sharp effort. He is bred to like the fake stuff, by Lonhro out of a Pulpit mare that has dropped three other winners including one that won a race on a synthetic surface.
He has as much upside as any of these as he makes his second start off the bench, but his main knock is he has been off poorly in all three of his career starts and he cannot do that again breaking from the nine post and expect to win here.
WIN: Kitten’s Cat to win at 3-1 or better.
EXACTA: 8,10 / 8,9,10,11
TRIFECTA: 8,10 / 8,9,10,11 / 2,8,9,10,11
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