SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – David Jacobson’s Stallwalkin’ Dude won his third straight attempt in the fourth-ever running of Friday’s $100,000 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga Race Course.
After winning in 2014 by a nose and in 2015 by 1 1/2 lengths, Stallwalkin’ Dude and jockey Joe Bravo were at one point 8 1/2 lengths behind the leaders, but the pair managed to hit the wire first by a head.
“To be able to knock a race out three years in a row like this, he just keeps going,” said Bravo. “He’s 7 years old and you wouldn’t think he’s older than 3. He’s out there fighting and doing great. I thank David Jacobson for holding him together as well as he’s done. This horse is a fighter and he’s feeling great. Look how he did it today. He came from how far out of it to get up? You have to love the old man. He’s a warrior.”
Chief Lion set the early pace through fractions of :21.96 and :44.79 before Loose On the Town caught him entering the stretch run for home. Stallwalkin’ Dude had to dig in and fight past a game Loose On the Town while covering the 6-furlong main track race in 1:09.75.
“He likes to make it exciting sometimes, and he sure did that today,” Jacobson said. “When I saw the fractions, he was a little further back than what we had planned, but I knew he’d be right there. He’s a real pleasure to train, and he’s very easy to train. He’s run so much with so little breaks and he’s so fit that you really don’t have to do much with him. He’s a special horse. He makes it exciting and he seems to get there every time. He’s just figuring it out now. He’s got a lot more races left.”
Claimed by Jacobson on September 20, 2014, for $16,000, the Tale of the Cat was Stallwalkin’ Dude’s 15th for his owner/trainer. He has finished on the board in three of his past four starts, with the lone off-the-board a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Belmont Sprint Championship on July 8.
Weekend Hideaway, fourth in the 2015 running, finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Candid Desire for third this time. Candip, Chief Lion, and Cadeyrn completed the order of finish.
Stallwalkin’ Dude returned $3.80 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.30 to show. Loose On the Town brought back $4.70 to place and $3.20 to show, while Weekend Hideway paid $2.90 to show.