The Wildcat, at 1 3/8 miles on the turf and which is considered the traditional prep for closing day’s (May 7) traditional 1 7/8 miles Hasta La Vista Handicap, attracted a field of nine long distance grass specialists.
The Az Stallion Stakes, for 3-year-olds at 7 ½ furlongs on the grass, will also put forth a field of nine.
Last year’s winner and runner up in this race – Blue Bomber and Sir Searsucker – are in the field, which gives horseplayers a starting pointing in handicapping the ultra-distance of the Wildcat.
Blue Bomber led every step of the way in winning this race last year. His catch-me-if-you-can running style will have Natasha Coddington aboard again for the repeat try.
Sir Searsucker tracked Blue Bomber every step of the way last year and will probably employ similar tactics this time around. The 7-year-old, who has won half of his 10 lifetime victories over the local lawn, is coming off a 1 1/8 allowance turf win March 5.
The ultra-consistent Dreamcatcher, coming off a three race win skein, is entered. The 8-year-old, who has won 13 of 50 career starts, four of those wins coming over the local turf course, has never raced this far before. However, being by Tapit, Dreamcatcher should be able to handle the marathon and his mid-race tracking style may set him up nicely for the closing stages of the marathon.
Az Stallion Stakes
Two of the nine entered are fillies and four of the nine are still maidens. Only four have raced the turf before and none of those successfully. So, this is anybody’s race.
The most accomplished of the group is the filly Top Hat Wildcat, given her two runner-up finishes in two futurity stakes. Being by Margie’s Wildcat, (Storm Cat) she should have no trouble taking to the turf.