Sunday, November 29, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 29, 2009 . . . The second start off a long layoff proved a winner for Coy Cat in the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural, Sunday's opening day feature at Turfway Park. Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. was up for the winning ride.
Coy Cat, a four-year-old filly by Hold That Tiger, finished the six-furlong race in 1:10.44, three-quarters of a length ahead of School Girl in second and another half-length ahead of She’s Extreme in third.
Trained by Paul McGee, Coy Cat came in to the Holiday Inaugural off a fourth-place finish in an optional allowance at Churchill Downs November 9, her first race since she finished an uncharacteristic eighth at Keeneland in April.
"She needed that race at Churchill," said McGee. "We took a chip out of her knee after the Keeneland race back in the spring. She benefited from having that Churchill race under her belt."
The field raced tightly together through most of the race, with Coy Cat in seventh early and She’s Extreme racing just back of Just Memories and, briefly, Simply Seattle, who clocked the first quarter in :21.77. Just Memories set the mark for the half at :45.23 but Coy Cat was moving approaching the 3/8ths pole, took the lead at the top of the stretch, held off a bid by School Girl (also trained by McGee), and kept her advantage over She’s Extreme.
Fourth and following were Lady's Laughter, Just Memories, Candy Cane, Proud Heiress, Miss A. Bomb, Minewander, Step Out Smartly, Nicks, and Simply Seattle.
Co-eighth choice at 14-1, Coy Cat returned $30.60, $16.60, and $9.40.
From 22 career starts, Coy Cat now has 5 wins, 6 seconds, and 2 thirds and earnings of $224,355. She is owned by Jay Em Ess Stable. McGee said her next start likely would come at Fair Grounds.
Turfway is dark Monday and Tuesday. Racing resumes Wednesday at 5:30pm.