Cat On Base ties world record in feature race | Emerald Downs

Cat On Base, ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, tied a world record by running 5-½furlongs in 1:01.37 Saturday at Emerald Downs. April 14, 2012. - Reed Palmer/Emerald Downs
Cat On Base, ridden by Jennifer Whitaker, tied a world record by running 5-½furlongs in 1:01.37 Saturday at Emerald Downs. April 14, 2012.
— image credit: Reed Palmer/Emerald Downs

Cat On Base, a 5-year-old Washington-bred gelding, put the exclamation point on trainer Howard Belvoir's torrid start to the Emerald Downs season Saturday with a world record-tying performance in the $12,100 feature race for 3-year-olds and up.

A son of Harbor the Gold, Cat On Base ran 5½ furlongs in 1:01.37 (1:01-1/5) and scored a 4½-length victory over 19-to-1 long shot Emancipated in the Oddfella's Pub and Eatery Purse.

Ridden by Jennifer Whitaker at 120 pounds., Cat On Base paid $7.40, $4.40 and $3.40 as the second choice in the field of eight sprinters.

Cat On Base set fractions of :21.60, :43.97 and :55.30 en route to the 1:01.37 clocking, equaling the mark set by both Willie the Cat and The Great Face at Emerald Downs in 2004 and 2007, and by Silvey's Image and Plenty Zloty at Turf Paradise in 1992 and 1995.

"This horse has a ton of natural speed," Whitaker said of Cat On Base. "He just pulled me to the lead, and then he kept right on going."

Cat On Base has won four of 19 starts with earnings of $59,640 for co-owners Belvoir and Vicki Potter. The gelding has been a hard knocker the last two years while also racking up six seconds and four thirds, mostly in higher level claiming races. Bred by Jennifer Weber and Kenneth Jochimsen, Cat On Base is by the same sire (Harbor the Gold) as two-time Emerald Downs Horse of the Meeting Noosa Beach, and out of the Vying Victor mare Vying for Money.

Belvoir, who came within one victory of his first career training title here last year, has four wins in the first two days of the 2012 meeting. Earlier Saturday, the veteran conditioner saddled A Girl Named Pearl ($4.60) to a one-length victory in the fourth race.

"All my horses are firing bullets," Belvoir said. "Let's hope I can keep it going."

Emancipated, ridden by Jose Zunino, paid $16.40 and $7.80. Dare Me Devil, with apprentice Eliska Kubinova up, finished third and paid $4.60.

Dangerous Pleasure, Olympic Lights, Go With Gusto, Ricky Ricky and Zagreus completed the order of finish.

Troy Stillwell, in his first mount at Emerald Downs since closing day of the 2010 meeting, rode Olympic Lights. The 45-year-old Aberdeen native missed the entire 2011 season with a back injury.


Willie the Cat, The Great Face, Silvey's Image and Plenty Zloty were all timed in 1:01 1/5; Emerald Downs switched its timing system from fifths to hundredths of seconds in 2011. ... Frank Lucarelli got on the board in 2012 as Hard Slider ($4.20) led all the way in the sixth race. The 4-year-old gelding capped a double for defending riding champion Leslie Mawing. Mawing had 37 multiple-win days last year en route to his first career riding title–Jockey Rocco Bowen notched his first Emerald Downs victory in the nightcap aboard Kool Comic ($16.40) for trainer Jim Nunnally.

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