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CYPRESS, CA – Fresh off a maiden-breaking score going 1 mile over the Del Mar turf, Irvin Racing Stable’s Sensible Cat doubled down with another victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes at Los Alamitos.
Sensible Cat broke from post 6 under Juan Hernandez at 9/2 odds and settled into a stalking position while five of her rivals fought for the early lead heading into the clubhouse turn.
Mucha Woman emerged alone up front on the backstretch and set a solid tempo through opening fractions of :22.75, :46.29, and 1:11.68 while the 5/2 favorite Dylans Wild Cat gave closest watch.
Dylans Wild Cat made her bid in the far turn and straightened for home with the lead, but Hernandez had given his mount the green light while cornering and had her within range with a furlong remaining.
Sensible Cat fought gamely to take the lead near the 1/16 pole before drawing off late to win the mile-long fast dirt route by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:37.94.
“Carla had me watch the replay of her last race and said to ride her that way,” said Hernandez, who was aboard Sensible Cat for the first time. “She broke well and I wanted to sit off the leaders. I wasn’t sure if she was going to go by early in the stretch, but when I switched and hit her left-handed, she really responded.”
Governor Goteven edged Dylans Wild Cat by a 1/2-length for second, while I’m So Anna was a fast-closing 3/4 of a length further back in fourth.
Super Game, Mucha Woman, Will Take a Kiss, Miss Glorious, Westward Breeze (the winner’s stablemate), and Love Wins completed the order of finish.
Eddie’s New Dream scratched as an Also Eligible from the race restricted to California-bred or sired juvenile fillies.
Trained by Carla Gaines, the daughter of Bluegrass Cat improved her overall to 3-2-0-0 with $89,700 earned. Her lone defeat came in her career debut, a 6-furlong dirt sprint at Del Mar that Eddie’s New Dream won.
“I thought it was tremendous,” Gaines said. “We thought right away she was going to be a horse that wanted two turns. She had some mucus and was coughing this summer at Del Mar, so we missed getting her in a long race there, so we sprinted her once to get her some experience and we couldn’t wait to get her going two turns. It’s nice to know we have the option of grass or dirt with her.”
Sensible Cat returned $11 to win, $6.20 to place, and $3.60 to show. Governor Goteven brought back $5 to place and $3.60 to show, while Dylans Wild Cat paid $2.80 to show.
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