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Rouse the Cat finishes 12th in Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

October 26, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

Charles Town-based thoroughbred Rouse the Cat finished a disappointing 12th Saturday in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

The race was part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

"I didn't expect him to win by 12 but I thought he would run better," trainer Ollie Figgins III said following the approximately 6 1/2-furlong race. "He broke OK, but just didn't have any closing kick at all. They ran ridiculously early fractions and I think that took a toll."

Figgins felt Rouse the Cat, who went postward at 13-1 odds, was not 100 percent physically, either.

"He shipped well, schooled well in the paddack, handled the crowd noise, but I think he had some difficulty in the race," Figgins said. "He came back coughing and we had him scoped. The attending veterinarian said everything was fine. He's had a tough campaign. We're going to give him some time off now."

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After the race, jockey Edgar Prado told Figgins that Rouse the Cat broke decently but, when they crossed from turf to dirt back to turf early in the race, the horse was spent.

"He was definitely further off the pace than I would have liked," Figgins said. "He could just not overcome those early fractions and the tough competition and didn't close at all. He had been running shorter races and closing and I was hoping he could do it again."

The 4-year-old gelding, owned by Ray Pennington III of Front Royal, Va., was one of the interesting stories on the Breeders' Cup card.

Rouse the Cat was claimed at Charles Town Races & Slots for $10,000 in December 2007 and progressed so well over the next 10 months that he earned a trip to Santa Anita.

Desert Code rallied from the off pace to edge Diabolical for the win.

Florida-bred Rouse the Cat has been to the starting gate 12 times in 2008 and shows five wins, two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes.

Overall, he has been to the starting gate 17 times with seven wins, two seconds and three thirds with career earnings of $273,770.

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