Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 16, 2010 . . . Sometimes a change of plans turns out for the best, as Cactus Cadillac proved Saturday by winning her first stakes, the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes at Turfway Park. Apprentice Ben Creed was aboard for the winning ride.
At 6 1/2 furlongs, the Cincinnati Trophy is the first of two local stakes leading to the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks in March. The second prep stakes, the Valdale in February, covers a mile.
"We did not actually intend to run in this race," said winning trainer David Pate. "She wants to go a mile or farther, so we intended to run in [a mile allowance on January 24] to prep for the Valdale, but if it didn't go I was going to be a long time between races, so we decided to take our chances with the sprint, and it worked out. We were a little closer than I expected to be, but the pace was exactly what we wanted, and Ben gave her a flawless ride."
Cactus Cadillac was sixth of seven through the early going but less than three lengths from the leader, Henry's Posse, who clocked the first quarter in :22.83, the half in :46.31, and three-quarters in 1:12.43. Coming four wide around the turn, Cactus Cadillac moved up to second, put pressure on the stubborn leader, and got clear in deep stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Helen Belen, who bobbled the start and broke last, finished third, a length behind Henry's Posse. Final time was 1:19.45.
Completing the order of finish were Nurse Donna, Wildcat Dreamer, Nautical Nonsense, and Know and Trust. Backtoblack, Dragonville, and Singandprayfurrhen were scratched by their trainers.
The 2-1 second choice behind 8-5 Henry's Posse, Cactus Cadillac paid $6 for the win.
Pate said he plans to keep Cactus Cadillac on the path to the Bourbonette Oaks. "We are planning to bring her back for the Valdale if we still own her by then," he said. "We've had a lot of people calling wanting to buy her. But the plan was always the prep, the Valdale, and the Bourbonette, providing of course that she did well. She likes to come from off the pace and she really closes great. We've never run her over anything she didn't like—dirt, grass, Poly. I think all of her future is ahead of her."
Cactus Cadillac is owned by Pate's wife, Peggy Pate, and Gary Mitchell. The Cincinnati Trophy brings her record to 3-1-2 from 9 career starts and earnings of $86,603. Cactus Cadillac was bred in Kentucky by John Glenney and Kim Glenney and is by Cactus Ridge out of graded stakes winner Plum Country.