November 27, 2005
WinStar Farm's Bluegrass Cat drew away from a surprisingly stubborn Flashy Bull to win the 92nd running of the $200,000 Remsen (G2) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, giving jockey John Velazquez his fourth winner of the afternoon and trainer Todd Pletcher his third.
Sent off at 3-5, Bluegrass Cat took early command of the race from the rail by getting the first quarter-mile in 24.57 and the half in :49.07, all the while being shadowed on the outside by 18-1 Flashy Bull and jockey Cornelio Velasquez. The duo separated themselves from the rest of the field as they went 3/4 in 1:13.54, but when it looked like Bluegrass Cat would move away, Flashy Bull dug in as well. Finally, Bluegrass Cat surged again for his third straight victory, hitting the wire in 1:52.20 on the fast track.
Results Chart from DRF
"He didn't break super cleanly, but he recovered well enough to dictate some reasonable fractions," said Pletcher of his first Remsen victory, which added $120,000 to his North American single-season earnings record of well over $19.5 million. "I told Johnny to play on the break, and if he got the lead, fine. He sat off horses before. Kiaran McLaughlin's horse (Flashy Bull) ran a huge race. We'll give him a few days and then head down south. He's come a long way in a short period of time."
"He pulled me to the lead," Velazquez said of Bluegrass Cat, a son of Storm Cat. "He got a little scared early. No one wanted to go early, so I had to take it. He's quite a fighter. He was a little spooked at the end of the race when he saw a tire track. But, he's a nice horse and I look forward to next year."
McLaughlin, Flashy Bull's trainer, saw plenty to build on for the Holy Bull colt. "This was a big step up," McLaughlin said. "We're very happy. He proved he belongs with this kind, and we've always felt this way. We were second-best, and we got beat by a nice horse. I'll have horses in Florida, but I will have a lot of horses here, too. But he's going to Florida."
Parkhimonbroadway was 4 1/2 lengths back in third, followed by Park Avenue Prince, Fagan's Legacy, Congo King, Pegasusbystorm and Immersed in Gold.