This Cat Can Fly scores in Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

This Cat Can Fly and Jackie Davis edge Chowda in Monday’s $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

This Cat Can Fly came into Monday’s $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders’ Stakes at Finger Lakes with almost twice as many starts and wins than the rest of the field combined, and he put that home-track advantage to good use.

Rated off an early pace battle between two of the 1 1/16-mile race’s main players – Chowda and Danebury – and then countering a strong middle move from post-time favorite I Love Jaxson, This Cat Can Fly and jockey Jackie Davis rolled grinded out a half-length victory over Chowda. The 6-year-old Birdstone gelding became a stakes winner in his first stakes appearance that followed 36 prior starts including 21 at Finger Lakes.

This Cat Can Fly improved to 7-for-22 at Finger Lakes, to go with six seconds and four thirds. He’s won seven of 37 overall, for $155,012 in earnings.

Davis rated This Cat Can Fly in fifth early while Chowda and Danebury sparred through the opening quarter-mile in :24.10 and the half in :49.89. Chowda shook off Danebury on the backstretch, clicked past 6 furlongs in 1:13.84 and braced for the rush of I Love Jaxson around the far turn.

Chowda still led into the stretch before This Cat Can Fly reached even terms near the eighth pole. The two battled inside the final furlong, extending their lead over Run for Boston and I Love Jaxson before This Cat Can Fly hit the finish in 1:47.08 for the 1 1/16 miles on the fast track. Chowdawinner of last year’s Gander Stakes at Aqueduct, held second by 1 ½ lengths from Run for Boston with I Love Jaxson, Coragescontender and Danebury completing the field.

Bred by Cheryl Prudhomme, Dr. Michael Gallivan and Breeding Bliss and foaled at Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward, This Cat Can Fly is the fifth foal out of the unraced Cat Thief mare Mia Gatto. A daughter of graded stakes winner Risen Colony, Mia Gatto is also the dam of 10-time winner and $153,076-earner Articulate and winners Fanny Brice, Jegos Fire and Taino. The latter is a 3-year-old gelding by Bayern who sold at last year’s OBS July 2-year-olds in training sale and won his debut in early January at Aqueduct.

This Cat Can Fly sold for $20,000 to Daren English, agent, as a weanling through is co-breeders’ Shamrock Hill Farm consignment at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale. He then sold to Jay Em Ess Stable for $80,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.

This Cat Can Fly made his first eight starts on the NYRA circuit for Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Michelle Nevin before making his Finger Lakes debut – a second in a maiden special weight Aug. 20, 2018 – for new connections.

Trainer Troy Smith and owner Top Hat Thoroughbreds claimed This Cat Can Fly for $5,000 in October 18, 2018. He ran for Smith and Top Hat through 2019, made one start at Turf Paradise in early 2020 and made his first start for Jeffrey Englehart last August at Finger Lakes. He’s won four of 13 with Englehart, including the Genessee Valley and a starter optional two starts back May 24.

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