CURVY CAT IS ALL HEART ON VALENTINE’S DAY, TAKES $60,000 DEER CREEK PURSE AT SANTA ANITA

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $55,959 INTO FRIDAY, TOTAL POOL EXPECTED TO APPROACH $500,000; EIGHT-RACE CARD STARTS AT 1 P.M.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2013)—Curvy Cat, ridden by Joe Talamo, outgamed 3-2 favorite Best Present Ever in deep stretch to take Thursday’s $60,000 Deer Creek Purse, winning the second-condition allowance for older fillies and mares by a neck while covering 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.52.

Scratched by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer out of Sunday’s restricted Wishing Well Stakes down the hill, Curvy Cat had never run on turf and she was ridden for the first time by Talamo on Thursday.

“We just thought it was a better chance for her to run in this race since she had the condition (two-other-than allowance) and as it turned out, we were right,” said Hollendorfer. “We’re not always right, I can tell you that.”

Asked if there were any detailed instructions from Hollendorfer, Talamo said, “No. He told me to just try and get a good trip. She’s very professional. This was her first time on grass and she handled it very well.”

The second choice in the wagering at 7-2, Curvy Cat paid $9.60, $4.00 and $3.00.

A 4-year-old California-bred filly by Ministers Wild Cat, Curvy Cat is owned by her breeder, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds. With the winner’s share of $46,800, she increased her bankroll to $169,873. Her record now stands at 13-6-4-3.

While Curvy Cat sat fifth in the field of seven early, eventual fourth-place finisher Magical Band and Victor Espinoza set fractions of 21.61 and 43.78.

Best Present Ever and Rafael Bejarano hit the front at the top of the stretch, stopping the six furlong timer in 1:06.44, whereupon the daughter of Unusual Heat opened up on the field, but could not withstand the late charge of the winner.

Best Present Ever, who finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of 17-1 shot June Cleaver, paid $2.80 and $2.40.

June Cleaver, ridden by David Flores, paid $6.00 to show.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Friday at Santa Anita of $55,959. The Pick Six will cover races three through eight and it is expected the total pool on Friday will approach $500,000.

First post time on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. For more racing information, visit www.santaanita.com.