(Sensible Cat / Photo Courtesy of Los Alamitos)

From the Los Alamitos Media Team:


Sensible Cat provided trainer Carla Gaines with her first stakes win at Los Alamitos with a come-from-behind victory in the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes Saturday.

A little more than five weeks after breaking her maiden at eight furlongs on the Del Mar turf course in her second career start, the 2-year-old daughter of Bluegrass Cat demonstrated Saturday she is equally adept on dirt.

Owned by Irvin Racing Stable and ridden by Juan Hernandez, Sensible Cat, the 9-2 fourth choice in the field of 10 California bred or sired fillies, was reserved off the early pace, rallied outside in the stretch, collared 5-2 favorite Dylans Wild Cat inside the eighth pole and went on to score by 1 ¾ lengths.

Out of the Street Sense mare Sensible Girl, Sensible Cat completed the mile in 1:37.94. She paid $11, $6.20 and $3.60 while increasing her earnings to $89,700.

“I thought it was tremendous,’’ said Gaines. “We thought right away she was going to be a horse that wanted two turns. She had some mucus and was coughing this summer at Del Mar, so we missed getting her in a long race there, so we sprinted her once (a sixth-place finish Sept. 7) to get her some experience.

“We couldn’t wait to get her going two turns and she responded (a turf victory Nov. 6 at Del Mar). It’s nice to know we have the option of grass or dirt with her.’’

The stakes success was the second in a span of six days for Hernandez, who used similar off-the-pace tactics to win the Grade III Bayakoa with Proud Emma Dec. 6.

“(Gaines) had me watch the replay of her last race and said to ride her that way,’’ said Hernandez, the leading rider through the first six days of the meet with eight victories. “She broke well and I wanted to sit off the leaders.

“I wasn’t sure if she was going to go by early in the stretch, but when I switched and hit her left-handed, she really responded.’’

Governor Goteven, the second choice at 3-1, outfinished Dylans Wild Cat by a half-length for the place. She paid $5.00 and $3.60 while the show price on Dylans Wild Cat was $2.80.

I’m So Anna, Super Game, pacesetter Mucha Woman, Will Take a Kiss, Miss Glorious, Westward Breeze and Love Wins completed the order of finish.

Jockey Jessica Pyfer had her first career multiple win day Saturday. The 22-year-old apprentice  won three times, taking the first with Capital Heat, the fifth with Mr Vargas and the sixth with Smokin Hot Bobbie. Pyfer has six wins at the meet.

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.