"We had two horses to look at that day, both in the same race, Calgary Cat and Weather Bill," recalled Attard. "We had two slips filled out and I was waiting for them to come into the paddock, but once I saw him (Calgary Cat) I fell in love with him. He’s a good looking individual."
TORONTO, April 24 – Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman’s Sovereign Award winning sprinter Calgary Cat will try and scratch out his first win of 2015 when he makes his seasonal debut in Sunday’s $125,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Kevin Attard, the Cowtown Cat chestnut enjoyed a remarkable 2014 campaign winning five of seven starts including wins in the Grade 3 Bold Venture and Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes.
Attard claimed the former Mark Casse trainee on November 15, 2013 for $25,000 from a 6 ½-furlong ‘Poly’ sprint where the gelding finished second as the even-money favourite by a short nose. The decision to claim Calgary Cat was made by the edge of the Woodbine paddock.
Calgary Cat raced just once for his new connections in 2013, finishing fourth, but on his return to Woodbine in 2014 the gelding improved with each start showing ability on grass and ‘Poly’ while banking $315,000 en route to Sovereign honours as the nation’s top sprinter.
In addition, Calgary Cat finished second in the voting for Horse of the Year behind popular Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks winning filly Lexie Lou.
Calgary Cat wintered in Ocala, Florida and started up breezing at Gulfstream Park before shipping back to Woodbine where he recorded his first local work on April 12, covering five furlongs in 1:00.80. The chestnut put in a sharp five furlong breeze in :58.60 on April 19 in his final prep for the Jacques Cartier, a six furlong ‘Poly’ sprint which has attracted a field of 10.
Providing steep opposition for Calgary Cat on Sunday are local multiple stakes winners Black Hornet, Jose Sea View and Bear No Joke as well as shippers Choctaw Chuck, Pablo Del Monte and Bye Bye Bernie.
A contentious field is completed by local allowance winners Stacked Deck and Parise, along with last year’s surprise Woodstock Stakes winner Puntrooskie.
The Jacques Cartier is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on the card via HorsePlayer Interactive.