ELMONT, NY – Wow Cat was lights out in Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park. This was the first win in the States for the Chilean-bred daughter of Lookin at Lucky following a second-place finish in the Shuvee Stakes in July and a third-place finish in the Personal Ensign Stakes in August.
From the outside post, Farrell broke best and quickly got up to the front as the early leader. Come Dancing sat a length back of Farrell with Divine Miss Grey close by on her inside. The 6-5 post time favorite, Wow Cat, sat comfortably mid-pack with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. As they approached the 3/8ths pole, Wow Cat was positioned well and slowly made her move to draw even with Farrell and Divine Miss Grey by the top of the stretch. Meanwhile, Verve’s Tail was forced four-wide as she tried to make up ground around the turn. At the top of the stretch, Wow Cat looked best and had plenty of space to draw clear as she took off with just a little encouragement from jockey Irad Ortiz. Farrell quickly faded and gave room to Divine Miss Grey who cruised into second. Verve’s Tail found space to finish third and was followed by Teresa Z in fourth.
This was the second consecutive stakes win for Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. who won the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes aboard Disco Partner.
“The last time she ran against the best two mares in the country,” said Ortiz. “The first time she ran in the United States, she needed the race. She was off a layoff, and she was good enough to run second. She came back and ran great. She’s getting better and better. I think she’s a really special mare.”
The four-year-old Wow Cat is owned by Peter M. Brant and Stud Vendaval, Inc. and trained by Chad Brown. She was brought to the United States from Chile where she had previously racked up an impressive eight consecutive wins and nearly and over $300,000 in earnings.
“It takes your breath away just looking at her, physically,” trainer Chad Brown said. “We can’t take any credit for the way she looks; she arrived this way. It took a while for her to acclimate. She was training really well heading into Saratoga. Not only did some extra time help her, I don’t think she really cared that much for Saratoga, in hindsight. She never trained great once I got her up there. She trained OK. She got beat 10 lengths last time [in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign] by two really good fillies, but I didn’t think the gap should be 10 lengths. She’s really a top-class horse. She came to us undefeated. She’s legit.
Wow Cat returned $4.60 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.30 to show. Divine Miss Grey brought back $4.00 to place and $3.00 to show, while Verve’s Tale paid $2.90 to show.