ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2015)–Ridden for the first time by Aaron Gryder, Singing Kitty split horses four-wide at the top of the stretch and outdueled favored Heat the Rocks in deep stretch to take Saturday’s $200,000 Xpressbet California Cup Oaks by one length while negotiating one mile on turf in 1:35.70.
A 3-year-old California-bred filly by Ministers Wild Cat out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Natural Singer RN, provided veteran conditioner Matt Chew with his first ever Santa Anita stakes victory. Off at 7-1 in a field of eight California-bred or sired 3-year-old fillies, she paid $17.40, $6.00 and $3.40.
Claimed two starts back for $32,000 at Los Alamitos on Dec. 11, Singing Kitty picked up her third win from seven starts and with the winner’s share of $110,000, increased her earnings to $175,438. She’s owned by Chris Aulds, Brandon Hillman and Peter Jeong.
“She was brought to my attention by a friend of mine who suggested that I take a look at her,” said Chew of the decision to make the $32,000 claim. “I brought it up to the two owners and we all agreed to take a shot. We threw her into the Blue Norther (first start off the claim, one mile on turf Jan. 1) to see how she would handle the turf and the distance and we felt like off that race, into today would be a drop in class…She has adapted to the turf well. I’ve breezed her over it and she seems to love it.”
Heat the Rocks, off as the 9-5 post time favorite, showed good tactical speed under Elvis Trujillo and was second best, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Light One, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano. Heat the Rocks paid $3.60 and $2.60.
“It was a good run,” said Trujillo. “She sat behind the speed. She was ready for run and when I opened her up, we just got caught right away.”
The second choice at 2-1, Light One, with Rafael Bejarano up, paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.57, 46.52, 1:11.37 and 1:23.47.