CITIZEN KITTY PREVAILS IN DRAMATIC HASTINGS STAKES
AUBURN, Wash. (May 20, 2017) – Citizen Kitty gradually wore down stable mate B C Z Middleton and notched a three-quarter-length victory Saturday in the $50,000 Hastings Stakes for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs.
Ridden by Eswan Flores at 117 lbs, Citizen Kitty ran six furlongs in 1:09.25 and paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.60.
Jeff Metz, who also saddled second-place finisher B C Z Middleton, is the winning trainer for owners Bruce and Cass Maller of Incline Village, Nevada. The Mallers, whose horses campaign under the nom de course Highlander Racing Stable LLC, previously won the Hastings with E Z Kitty en route to honors as Emerald Downs’ Top Older Filly or Mare of 2013.
Invested Prospect, the odds-on betting favorite, flipped in the starting gate and was a late scratch. The 4-year-old filly, younger sister of Citizen Kitty, was 1-to-5 at the time of the mishap, but she and jockey Juan Gutierrez both appeared to escape serious injury.
With the speedy favorite out of the race, the pace scenario changed drastically and B C Z Middleton proved a tiger on the front end. Ridden by Jose Zunino at 119 lbs, the 13-to-1 long shot nearly derailed the hopes of her more fancied stable mate, leading through fractions of :22.38, :45.40 and :57.11 before yielding to Citizen Kitty in the lane.
Flores said he and Citizen Kitty worked out a perfect trip, chasing B C Z Middleton from second place.
“When I talked to Jeff (Metz), we wanted Citizen Kitty to be somewhere close, and we had a good tactical trip,” Flores said. “She’s a brave mare with a big heart.”
A 5-year-old Washington-bred by Proud Citizen-No Constraints, Citizen Kitty earned $27,500 to push her career total to $114,915. She has five wins, three seconds and five thirds in 21 starts, including a win and two seconds in three starts this year. She finished third to Esteralla in the 2016 Hastings Stakes.
B C Z Middleton paid $8.60 and $5.40, and it was five lengths back to 26-to-1 Protective Shield and an $8 show payout. Perhaps a Pie, Listo, Princess Kennedy and Sweet Tashi completed the order of finish.
The June 17 Washington State Legislators Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs is next for older fillies and mares.
NOTES: Rocco Bowen bagged another three-win day and has extended his lead to 30-20 over Kevin Orozco atop the jockeys’ standings. Bowen already has six three-win days at the meet. . .
Isaias Enriquez hit the 200-win mark at Emerald Downs with a triumph on Lucky K J ($6) in Saturday’s third race, and added win No. 201 aboard Lucky Echo ($25.80) in race six. . .
David Jarvis, assistant general manager of Hastings Racecourse, served as honorary steward for the Hastings Stakes. . .
Trainer Kurt Calton saddled his second winner in as many days as Yes It’s Snowing ($7) caught Topper’s Ghost in Saturday’s nightcap. . .
3-year-old filly Little Dancer ($25) produced her second straight long shot victory under a rail-skimming ride by Erick Lopez in Saturday’s eighth race. Owned by Ron Schmid and trained by Doris Harwood, Little Dancer broke her maiden two weeks ago at 19-1. . .
11-year-old gelding Thermal Wave ($6) became the oldest winner at the meet, rallying under Bowen to win Saturday’s fourth race for trainer Felimon Alvarado. Thermal Wave is by the great California sire Unusual Heat, who died this week at age 27. . .
The Cartel Hawk ($6.80) ridden by Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa and EZ Frosty Morn ($13.60) ridden by Lorenzo Lopez prevailed in the first two Quarter Horse races of the meet, producing an early $2 double worth $92.20. .
.A couple of Northwesterners–trainer Mike Chambers and jockey Gary Stevens–combined with Wood Machine ($21.80) to win Saturday’s 11th race at Santa Anita. .
.Live racing continues Sunday with the $50,00 Governor’s Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs. First post is 2 p.m. In an Emerald Downs’ first, there also will be non-wagering camel and ostrich races.