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Cat by the Tale scores in San Gorgonio

Cat by the Tale was an easy winner of the San Gorgonio (Benoit Photos)

Raymond Keogh's CAT BY THE TALE (Tale of the Cat) bided her time while tracking just in behind the pacesetter in Saturday's $150,000 San Gorgonio H. (G2) at Santa Anita, took command of the 1 1/8-mile turf test rounding the turn and powered home a 2 1/2-length winner under jockey Joel Rosario. The Neil Drysdale charge was never challenged while opening up late to stop the teletimer in 1:48 as the 5-2 third choice.

Century Park (General Meeting) was quickest from the gate, using her rail post to burst to the front and set splits of :23 4/5, :48 4/5 and 1:13 1/5. Cat by the Tale angled over from her outermost break and settled in second just behind and to the outside of the leader, with Rosa Grace (GB) (Lomitas [GB]) following in third. As the field turned for home, Century Park threw in the towel, leaving the way clear for Cat by the Tale to grab the advantage through a mile in 1:36 3/5. The eventual winner accelerated magnificently in the stretch run to pull off over the firm grass.

"Neil said that I could probably lay second or third early," Rosario said. "I didn't want anybody to get an easy lead, and I wanted to make sure I put some pressure on. She got to the three-eighths pole really easy. I wanted to make the lead at the quarter-pole and she did the rest. She was impressive."

Cat by the Tale rewarded her supporters with payoffs of $7.60, $3.60 and $2.80 while keying the $1 exotics worth $13.20 (exacta), $86.90 (trifecta) and $373.50 (9-3-2-8 superfecta). Despite having to deal with a slipped saddle, jockey Rafael Bejarano managed to guide Treat Gently (GB) (Cape Cross [Ire]) to a second-place finish, giving back $3.60 and $3 as the 2-1 second pick. Rosa Grace held well for third, just a head back, returning $5.40 at 16-1. Teamgeist (Arg) (Mutakddim) ran in last down the backstretch but rallied to be a nose shy of third while a nose up on fifth-placer and 2-1 favorite Diamondrella (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar [Ire]). Lavender Sky (Mt. Livermore) and Century Park completed the order under the wire.

Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) queen Life is Sweet (Storm Cat) was withdrawn after tying up following a morning gallop, while the connections of Czechers (Indian Charlie) opted to run their charge in Sunday's Monrovia H. (G3) instead of this spot.

Cat by the Tale made her U.S. debut on April 15 over Santa Anita's turf, capturing that allowance by a neck, and has yet to finish off-the-board from six starts, including this one, since. Though she performed in handicaps in Ireland, the five-year-old didn't make her U.S. stakes bow until the Las Palmas H. (G2) in November, finishing third. She followed that up with another third, this time in the Bayakoa H. (G2), and added a first black-type win to her resume with this score, which boosted her record to 17-5-1-5, $248,563.

Bred in Kentucky by T. F. Van Meter, Doug Hendrickson and Michael Lowenbaum, Cat by the Tale passed through the Keeneland sales ring twice, bringing $75,000 as a September yearling and $52,000 at the January Horses of All Ages Sale. The chestnut mare is out of Irish Group 3 winner St Clair Ridge (Ire) (Indian Ridge), who has since produced an unnamed juvenile filly by Congaree. This is the same family as Group 2 victor and sire Superlative (Nebbiolo) as well as Group 3-placed stakes winner Yonge St. Clare (Queen's Hussar).


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