October 3, 2022

Chilean invader Wow Cat early favorite in Shuvee

Wow Cat was undefeated in eight starts in Chile, including four Group 1s (Photo courtesy of Hipodromo Chile)

Wow Cat long ago ran out of competition in her native Chile. On Sunday at Saratoga, the daughter of Lookin at Lucky will face a presumably sterner test in the $200,000 Shuvee H. (G3) for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles.

Wow Cat was undefeated in eight starts in Chile, including four Group 1s. Among them were that country’s equivalents of the 1000 Guineas and St Leger. She’s won at distances ranging from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 3/8 miles, but has not run since December 9.

“I’ve been impressed with her so far,” trainer Chad Brown said. “We’ve given her plenty of time to acclimate and her works have been strong of late. A mile and an eighth on the dirt off a layoff is a tall order. She seems to be of very high quality, it’s just overcoming that layoff.”

Brown also sends out Pacific Wind, winner of the Ruffian (G2) two back but a fading fourth in the Ogden Phipps (G1) last time.

“She’s gotten over [the Phipps],” Brown said. “She took on Abel Tasman on the turn going for the win and she paid the price for it when that filly pulled away. I thought she gave a good try of it and we wanted to freshen her up just a little going into this race and she seems to be training well.”

Ivy Bell has had a strong year thus far, taking the Inside Information (G2) in March prior to runner-up finishes in the Humana Distaff (G1) and Ogden Phipps. Multiple Grade 2 winner Farrell should show speed, having set the pace in the La Troienne (G1) and Fleur de Lis H. (G2) at Churchill Downs before weakening to second in both. Also likely to show early foot is New York-bred Frost Wise.

Completing the field are Tiger Moth, unplaced three times following an upset win in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3), and Grade 3 winner Verve’s Tale, who’s finished first and second in two prior tries over the Saratoga strip.