E Z Kitty leads throughout to take Washington State Legislators Stakes | Emerald Downs
The 11-1 shot upsets a talented field of older fillies and mares, holding off Class Included for a three-quarter-length victory.
Special to The Seattle Times
AUBURN — E Z Kitty never seems to get any respect.
The 4-year-old daughter of He's Tops, out of Envision the Cat was largely ignored when she went through the sales ring at the 2009 Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association (WTBA) Summer Sale.
There wasn't one bid.
But E Z Kitty has quickly made a name for herself, winning six of nine races, and now she surely has many adorers.
Under jockey Leonel Camacho-Flores, E Z Kitty, sent off as an 11-1 longshot, sped to the front and fended off a threat down the lane of division leader Class Included for a three-quarter-length win Sunday in the $50,000 Washington State Legislators Stakes at Emerald Downs.
"I went to the barn after the (2009) sale and saw Jerry Woods, the breeder of this horse, and he had three horses there and I liked (E Z Kitty)," said owner/trainer Homer Gibson, who won his second Emerald stakes race and first since the 1996 Chinook Pass Owners' Handicap with L.J. Express. "I said I'd take that one. He said, 'No, you have to take the other two to get her.' I had to take the three horses at $750 when I just wanted the one."
E Z Kitty, trained by the longtime horseman and owned under Gibson's Tige Too Racing Stable name, sailed alone on the lead through fractions of 21.97 seconds, 43.98, 1:08.03 and 1:14.61 for 6 ½ furlongs.
"I knew she liked the lead," said Camacho-Flores, who won his second Emerald stakes — both aboard E Z Kitty, taking the John and Kitty Fletcher takes with the filly last season. "I went to H.R.'s barn this morning and he told me, 'If you break well, hustle for the lead.'
"This filly is just so fast, I wanted to save something for the end. At the eighth-pole, I ran out of horse. I kept waiting for horses to pass by me, flying. She was so tired, but she has a lot of heart."
E Z Kitty returned $24.60 to win, $6 to place and $4.20 to show.
Class Included, the 11-10 betting favorite, paid $3.40 and $2.40. Special Holiday paid $2.60 to show.
"A day like today means I can pay my bills, that's what it amounts to," said Gibson, who won the Longacres Mile in Yakima with L.J. Express in 1995.
E Z Kitty improved her record to 6-0-1 from nine starts and has earnings of $75,016.
Elusive Noise, whose 2012 season is being chronicled by The Times, got bumped out of the gate, was close to the early pace and then faded to seventh place out of eight.