Catalan Finds Softer Spot in Monday Allowance Feature
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Flying Zee Stable and Kona Stable’s 4-year-old gelding Catalan was no match making his first start in five months against Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Big Drama in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) on Jan. 15 at Gulfstream Park, particularly after a poor start. The gelding finds a more comfortable spot in Monday’s holiday allowance feature with apprentice Ryan Curatolo aboard for trainer Patrick Biancone.
Catalan is a roan/gray by Holy Bull and was making his first appearance in the Mr. Prospector since a good third-place finish in the Select Stakes at Monmouth Park on Aug. 8 and tired to last of six as Big Drama set a track record of 1:08 flat for six furlongs just days before being acclaimed Eclipse champion sprinter of 2010. Catalan broke his maiden at Delaware Park prior to the Select when making his fourth career start.
Catalan faces six rivals in Monday’s six-furlong ‘a other than’ test with Kuehne Racing’s 4-year-old gelding Candyman E certain to be well-supported after a sharp maiden score over the track on Jan. 8 when he ran six furlongs in 1:09 3/5 in his first start since a narrow miss when third at Churchill Downs on Nov. 7.
Jockey J.L. Castanon gets the call on the son of Candy Ride for trainer Michael Mareina, who has sent out six winners from just 13 starters at the meet. Candyman E made his first two starts at Calder last summer, finishing second in his debut and third in his second start won by Don Tito with Tackleberry second.
Another contender will be Frank Calabrese’s 4-year-old Savemyspotimbeting, although he will be making his first appearance in 13 months with Paco Lopez named to ride for trainer Nick Canani. The son of Vindication won his debut and only start here in late January last year by five lengths for trainer Danny Miller and was timed the six furlongs in 1:08 3/5.
Completing the field for Monday’s feature are Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable’s Lubango, Javier Castellano; Hardacre Farm’s Morethanatale, Rajiv Maragh; Ernest Dahlman and Eugene Hauman’s Green Monster, Alex Solis; and PVC Stable’s Mighty Score, Orlando Bocachica.