Kitten's Dumplings regains winning thread in QE II
But wider out, Kitten's Dumplings was producing a superior kick, and she quickly forged ahead. Alterite kept on doggedly to threaten on the inside, and Caroline Thomas flashed home belatedly, but neither could overhaul Kitten's Dumplings. The winner negotiated 1 1/8 firm-turf miles in 1:48 2/5 and furnished $11.80 to win.
"Good ones are easy to (train)," trainer Mike Maker noted. "She's a little tough to deal with. She needs more schooling in the winner's circle. She looked a little nervous in there."
Maker commented on why Leparoux rode Kitten's Dumplings onto the track early while the remainder of the field stayed in the paddock and walking ring.
"With the crowd today at Keeneland (32,717, a record attendance for the fall meet), we thought we'd get her out of there and play it a little safe," Maker said.
Leparoux was familiar with her preferred tactics.
"She always comes from behind," Leparoux said. "We had the pace today; they went very fast up front. I tried to settle her behind, and she made a big run at the end.
"I tried to get a jump on Johnny (Velazquez, riding Alterite) before I actually asked this filly. We got to the lead and he never could catch us."
With this first Grade 1 laurel to her credit, Kitten's Dumplings has compiled a record of 12-6-1-0, $691,262. A two-length debut winner at Saratoga as a juvenile, she was a rallying fourth in the Natalma at Woodbine in her stakes bow, and then finished up the track in the Alcibiades at Keeneland after stumbling at the start. She concluded her juvenile campaign with a three-length tally in the La Senorita on the turf at Retama Park.
Seventh in the Ginger Brew at Gulfstream to kick off 2013, Kitten's Dumplings was runner-up in the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs next out. She again proved not to be at her best over the Keeneland Polytrack, finishing a distant fifth in the Ashland, although she was only 1 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up.
Kitten's Dumplings reverted to turf and turned in two impressive come-from-behind wins at Churchill Downs. In the May 3 Edgewood, the bay blew past her rivals in the stretch to win by 3 3/4 lengths. In the June 15 Regret over nine furlongs, Kitten's Dumplings came from 16 lengths back to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths. She made it three in a row in the July 24 Lake George at Saratoga. Shipped out west for the August 17 Del Mar Oaks, the deep closer had no sort of pace set-up, and did well in the circumstances to get up for fourth.
The Kentucky-bred filly was produced by the winning Grand Slam mare Granny Franny. Kitten's Dumplings' full sister, the aforementioned Granny Mc's Kitten, broke her maiden in the August 28 P.G. Johnson at the Spa, and most recently finished fourth in last Sunday's Miss Grillo.
This is the family of mother-son Irish Group 3 winners Aminata and Swift Gulliver. Kitten's Dumplings' fourth dam is the influential matron *Fanghorn, dam of French co-champion sprinter Double Form. Going even deeper in the maternal ancestry, one finds 1988 champion steeplechaser Jimmy Lorenzo.
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