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Q.P. Cat Impressive in Little Sucker

Heading into Saturday's $110,000 Little Sucker, there were many questions surrounding Q.P. Cat. Could this filly turn her recent sprint form into a solid route effort? Could she handle turns with a bit more consistency then she normally does? Would she be intimidated by her older competition, as she was the only three-year-old in this race? Well, she silenced all of her critics in an impressive victory in the Little Sucker Stakes.

Coming into the Little Sucker off of a pair of wins, the most recent coming in the six-furlong Powerless Stakes, this Michael Weissman trainee was looking to her speed to carry her once again. Breaking from the rail, Q.P. Cat and jockey Chris Valovich sprung to the lead immediately, as this field of nine headed into the first turn. Running off to a five length lead after only a quarter of a mile, it appeared as if her speed may burn out quickly, grabbing that first quarter in :24.

Sitting back in the second flight behind Q.P. Cat was a pair of four-year-olds, third-choice Come September and longshot She's a Drummer. A half-mile into the race, these two had made up little ground on Q.P. Cat, sitting some four lengths back after a :47 3/5 half. Following behind Come September and She's a Drummer was favorite, Royal Bandita, some nine lengths off the leader.

Heading into the far turn, it appeared as if Q.P. Cat's early foot was about to give way as Come September had ranged up within a length of the speedy Q.P. Cat. At this point, Q.P. Cat had run six-furlongs in 1:13 1/5, fast enough to win some sprints on the same card, but she still had over a quarter of a mile to go. She's a Drummer was still hanging on in third and Royal Bandita was starting to unleash her rally.

Appearing as if Come September would run right by Q.P. Cat, jockey Chris Valovich was able to find a bit more in his filly's tank and hold off Come September in winning by a length. Owned by Bishop, Brannigan & Perkins, Q.P. Cat recorded her fourth victory in 2000, bumping her earnings over $170,000 for the year.

Jockey Chris Valovich reflected what many bettors had thought on Q.P. Cat's chances following the victory, "I thought we'd get the lead coming off the sprints. She's been wanting to go for the lead in those sprints so I felt confident we could get the lead today. I was a little concerned about her getting the distance. I thought I'd be in front, but didn't know for how long."

It turned out to be just long enough though, as Q.P. Cat covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:47 1/5. It was Come September who was making her run at Q.P. Cat in the lane, but jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr. just didn't have enough horse in the lane, "Coming toward home I felt like I had a lot of horse, but the last sixteenth she just got tired."

The surprise effort of the race belonged to third-place finisher She's A Drummer. Sent off at odds of 39-1, She's a Drummer held off Royal Bandita in a very solid effort. Jockey Shane Laviolette was happy with her effort, "My filly broke good. I knew we had a lot of speed in there so Rick (trainer Rick Lindsay) told me to let her lay where she wanted to. We were laying about third on the backside, setting pretty comfortable, but turning for home they just got away from us. But she ran hard.she just needed a little pace to back up to her. She ran well."




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