July 4, 2022

Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash

Last updated: 11/20/04 7:50 PM


Wildcat Heir seizes DeFrancis


New Farm’s homebred WILDCAT HEIR (Forest Wildcat) surged to a
clear lead in the upper stretch of Saturday’s $300,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash (G1), but
the four-year-old colt still had to face a late challenge from 6-5
favorite Midas Eyes (Touch Gold). With Stewart Elliott asking for
everything his mount had in the final strides, Wildcat Heir
gamely held for a head decision in the prestigious six-furlong
event.


Sent off at 16-1, Wildcat Heir earned his first graded stakes
win in 1:09 2/5 over the fast track after closely stalking splits
of :22 3/5 and :45 2/5 set by dueling leaders Shake You Down (Montbrook)
and Philadelphia Jim (Mr. Greeley). He moved to even terms
between rivals leaving the far turn and displayed a dynamic turn
of foot to quickly open up by two lengths while getting five
panels in :57 1/5. The runner-up was closing ground with every
stride inside the final furlong, but Wildcat Heir proved too good
in the end.


Trained by Ben Perkins Jr., the winner rewarded backers with
payouts of $34, $10 and $5.80 while starting the $138.40 exacta.
Midas Eyes, who was ridden by Edgar Prado, gave back $3.60 and $2.80
after finishing 1 1/2 lengths better than the late-running Clock
Stopper (Gilded Time), who was off at 9-2 and paid $2.80. The
trifecta returned $551 and the 8-1-7-4 superfecta ($1), with
Gators N Bears (Stormy Atlantic) in fourth, totaled $1,162.20.


Philadelphia Jim, A Huevo (Cool Joe), Abbondanza (Alphabet
Soup), Champali (Glitterman), True Direction (French Deputy) and
Shake You Down rounded out the order of finish. Lion Tamer (Will’s
Way) was scratched.


Wildcat Heir flashed promise at a young age when finishing
second in the 2002 Sanford S. (G2) in his second career start.
However, he went to the sidelines following that effort, raced
only once late last year, and didn’t return this season until May.
He’s gotten better and better since then, capturing the Icecapade
S. two starts previously before finishing a close fourth in the
Phoenix Breeders’ Cup S. (G3). The bay colt earned a signature
win on Saturday.


“This horse’s hind leg has been broken twice,” New
Farm’s Ben Perkins Sr. said. “That’s why he’s so lightly
raced.”


The Kentucky-bred, who has never raced farther than six
furlongs, now owns a 10-5-4-0 career line while banking $364,460.
He’s out of the winning Penniless Heiress (Pentelicus), who is
the dam of multiple Grade 3 queen Forest Heiress and multiple
stakes winner Forest Heir, who are both full siblings to Wildcat
Heir. The dam produced a filly this year by Forest Wildcat.


Perkins Jr. said Wildcat Heir would be given about a month off
on the farm and will be pointed toward the General George H. (G2)
in February at Pimlico.