Juvenile Turf: Bobby’s Kitten Leaves Pilgrim Field Behind

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Bobby's Kitten wins the Pilgrim Bobby's Kitten wins the Pilgrim

Just as he did in 2012, trainer Chad Brown swept both ends of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races for juvenile turf horses on Sunday at Belmont Park, taking the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim with Bobby’s Kitten and the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo for fillies with French import Testa Rossi.

Bobby’s Kitten, the 9-5 favorite off a front-running maiden victory at Saratoga Race Course, got an early jump on the field of nine, but then settled in second to track Marvin’s Miracle through an opening half-mile in 48.13 seconds, with three-quarters going in 1:12.26. Sent three-wide turning for home by jockey Javier Castellano, the homebred son of Kitten’s Joy hit the top of the stretch with a five-length advantage that he widened to 6 ¼ lengths by the time he crossed under the wire in 1:42.37 for 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf course.

The win earned the Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November at Santa Anita Park. He likely will be joined in that race by his stablemate, Shadow Banking, who finished second in the Pilgrim, a half-length in front of Captain’s Affair.

“I’m taking them both if they are healthy,” said Brown, who trains Shadow Banking for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence. “Second time out, we learned [Bobby's Kitten] was capable of leaving early and finishing. He has speed and can carry it, which makes him dangerous. Javier came out and worked him the other day and really liked the horse and accepted the mount on him. He said, ‘I want to go out. I’m not going to worry what anybody else is doing. I’m going to ride my race. I’m real confident.’ He rode that way.

“I thought [Shadow Banking] did well,” he added of the Harlan’s Holiday colt, who broke his maiden on September 11 at Belmont. “Considering the short rest he was on – I prefer that 31-60 day window, especially with my grass horses – he was looking a little bouncy, but he was able to pull through a slow pace and still get up for second. Now I have a little bit more time for his third start.”

Bobby’s Kitten – who Brown said is named after his mentor and former boss, the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel – returned $5.70 for a $2 win bet. Now 2-0-1 from three starts, he has bankrolled $185,500.

Finishing fourth was Due Diligence, who was followed in turn by Blue Pigeon, Sheldon, Marvin’s Miracle, Otoy, and Sandy Point.

See the full chart here.

Pilgrim (G3) Quotes 

Chad Brown, winning trainer of Bobby’s Kitten (No. 5) and of runner-up Shadow Banking (No. 4): “Second time out, we learned [Bobby's Kitten] was capable of leaving early and finishing. He has speed and can carry it, which makes him dangerous. Javier [Castellano] came out and worked him the other day and really liked the horse and accepted the mount on him. He said, ‘I want to go out. I’m not going to worry what anybody else is doing. I’m going to ride my race. I’m real confident.’ He rode that way.”

On Shadow Banking: “I thought he did well. Considering the short rest he was on – I prefer that 31-60 day window, especially with my grass horses – he was looking a little bouncy, but he was able to pull through a slow pace and still get up for second. Now I have a little bit more time for his third start.”

On Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf plans: “I’m taking them both if they are healthy.”

 

Javier Castellano, winning jockey aboard Bobby’s Kitten (No. 5): “I had a lot of confidence because I worked this horse in the morning, and I know how talented he is. I was impressed with his maturity today and how he did it. He broke well out of the gate. He’s a very straightforward horse and was very impressive today.”

 

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