-photo by Christy Smith/Coady Photography
Kentucky Shipper Key to the Cat Wins the $40,000 Katy Stakes at SHRP

Houston, Texas (December 4, 2004) - Fillies and mares took to the Connally Turf Course in tonight's feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $40,000 Katy Stakes. Kentucky shipper, Key to the Cat, a 3-year-old filly owned by Lance Robinson and trained by Stephen Margolis, emerged the winner.

The chestnut filly, sired by Tale of the Cat, has competed successfully in Kentucky and Louisiana. She had run successfully in allowance company in Keeneland and Marglois thought that the Katy Stakes might be an opportunity for her to get a black-type win.

Rider Larry Taylor was aboard and took made his move as the field entered the far turn. She responded as Taylor guided her four-wide on the turn. The final time of the mile and one-sixteenth stakes, over a firm turf course, was 1:47.95.

"The trip set up perfectly for us," said Taylor, who won four races on the Saturday night card. "Steve didn't tell me how to ride her. He just told me to let her do her own thing and not get her in trouble. At the 5/16th pole, I was a little concerned that I made the lead with her too soon, but I knew I had a lot of horse left. "

"She was owned by a partnership that was dissolved through a November breeding stock sale," said Margolis. "Lance was nice enough to give me a chance with her. Their main objective was to get black-type on her; she was already stakes-placed, but winning a stakes would add value as a broodmare. I shopped around for a stakes that I thought we might have a chance. This came up really tough and I almost decided not to ship her, but she was doing so well that she deserved a chance. Larry did a really good job."

The fast-closing Lady Mallory with Patrick Boxie in the irons outran her odds of 47-1. The 4-year-old daughter of Leo Castelli has been a fine addition to the barn of Tommie Morgan. Owned and bred by Texan Ed Few, Lady Mallory won the Fiesta Mile on the Retama Turf course on September 18.

"She finished real nice," commented Morgan. "She had a good break and the turf was good. She's tough. She likes to hang back in the pack for a while and then you just have to move her to the finish. She's improving though. She closed real nice tonight."

Apprentice rider, Brian Hernandez, Jr. came over from Fair Grounds to ride Fun House for trainer Steve Asmussen.

"She had a perfect trip," said Hernandez. "The rail opened and she made a strong move to get to the lead. The course was a bit soft, she bobbled a little going around the turn, but I don't think that was a factor. She was giving me everything she had at the end."

Key to the Cat, send off as the fourth betting choice, returned $15.20, $7.60 and $5.20 across the board. The exacta with 47-1 Lady Mallory paid $588.80 and the trifecta paid $3,768. Boomboomgirl ran fourth followed by Tyger River, Hasty Kiss, Lost Bride, Lady Sonya, Honorable Cat, Topango and Mexican Moonlight.

Margolis indicated that Key to the Cat would be shipped to Florida and make her next start at Gulfstream Park.

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