Michael House’s Classical Cat (#3) and jockey Umberto Rispoli win the $100,000 Eddie Logan Stakes Friday, December 30, 2022 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.
In a driving finish, Phil D’Amato’s Classical Cat was all heart as he was up to win Friday’s $100,000 Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita by a half length. Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, the 3-year-old colt by the Scat Daddy stallion Mendelssohn got a mile on turf in 1:34.38.
Alert from the gate, Classical Cat was third at the rail, about 1 ½ lengths off early leader Game Time around the Club House turn, maintained his rail position heading to the far turn while into the bridle, tipped out three-deep at the top of the lane and overtook First Peace to his inside late while holding off race favorite Nagirroc to his outside in an extra game performance.
“I had Nagirroc to my outside and obviously he was the horse to beat,” said Rispoli. “I was praying that Mike Smith (aboard First Peace) would go a little bit ahead of me at the quarter pole, which would give me a chance to find room between them.
“The horse helped me. I had a ton of horse underneath and when you have gas, you can go wherever you want. I think he won easily today.”
A one mile turf allowance winner here on Oct. 23, Classical Cat got late support and was off at 2-1 in a field reduced by a pair of scratches to six sophomores and paid $6.60, $3.60 and $2.40.
Owned by Michael House, Classical Cat, who is out of the Not Bourbon mare Conquest Strate Up, Classical Cat, who was purchased for $65,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling now has three wins from four starts, his last two on turf. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $146,300.
“These are some nice horses here, this proves that he’s a top class horse and can compete with these nice horses and other nice horses down the road,” said D’Amato. “…Down the road, we may make him maybe our Del Mar Derby kind of horse and go from there.”
First Peace, who sat second the entire trip, finished second by a half length over Nagirroc and paid $5.40 and $3.00 while off at 5-1.
Ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Graham Motion, Nigarroc, a Grade III winner two starts back at Aqueduct and most recently third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland Nov. 4, had no apparent excuses at even money and paid $2.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.47, 47.09, 1:10.47 and 1:22.40.
$100,000, EDDIE LOGAN STAKES QUOTES
UMBERTO RISPOLI, CLASSICAL CAT, WINNER: “I had Nagirroc to my outside and obviously he was the horse to beat. I was praying that Mike Smith (First Peace) would go a little bit ahead of me at the quarter pole, which would give me a chance to find room between them. The horse helped me. I had a ton of horse underneath and when you have gas you can go whenever you want. I think he won easily today.”
PHILIP D’AMATO, CLASSICAL CAT, WINNER: “Flavien (Prat, aboard Nagirroc), looked like he tried to make the earlier move on Umberto, but Umberto was able to stay in there and this horse is just such a fighter. Once he got his head in there, he kind of slowly wore down the leader. These are some really nice horses here, this proves that he’s a top class horse and can compete with these nice horses and other nice horses down the road.
“We try to train and put that (fight) in them but more times than not they either have it or they don’t. We may have another race in a month, we will see, but down the road we want to make him maybe our Del Mar Derby kind of horse and go from there.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Michael House.