A 4-pack of Virginia-bred horses collected wins over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and all were respective first or second betting favorites that didn’t need to produce any nail biting finishes. As a matter of fact, the margin of victory in all four were between 3 1/4 and 8 lengths.
K D’s Cat Bird gets top billing for his dominant eight length triumph March 20th in a maiden claimer at Tampa Bay Downs. The 3 year old Courageous Cat colt was second at the quarter mark in the one mile, forty yard race, passed the leader shortly after then opened up for the big finish. Bred and co-owned by Christopher Kuhn of New Kent, the winner crossed in 1:42.78, and was best by far in a field that was scattered at the wire. Four of the seven starters finished at least 20 lengths behind. K D’s Cat Bird, out of the Birdstone mare, Rockalady, paid $5.00 to his backers and gave Kuhn and co-owner Lonnie Arterburn the winner’s share of a $14,000 purse.
Town Leader (shown here courtesy of Jim McCue), bred by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, also competed in a $14,000 event and got to the winners circle at Laurel on March 18th. The six furlong sprint featured eight horses, and the 5 year old daughter of Proud Citizen patiently rated along the rail through the turn and eased out slightly heading into the stretch. The winner got to the front with one-sixteenth to go and crossed 5 1/4 lengths ahead of the next best in 1:14.02. The Kieron Magee trainee is out of the Theatrical mare, Theme. Town Leader now has a top three finish in 7 of her last 8 outings and has earned almost $21,000 this year alone.
A pair of three year olds — Homespun Hero and Picked — each scored three-plus length wins on March 18th at Gulfstream and Fair Grounds respectively. The former, a Hard Spun colt out of Nicky’s Way by First Samurai, captured a $35,000 starter optional claiming event by 3 1/4 lengths while the latter, an Include gelding out of Picker by Forestry, won by 3 3/4 lengths in a $22,000 maiden claimer. Homespun Hero was bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin and is trained by Barclay Tagg while Picked was bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust and is conditioned by Joe Sharp. (Photo courtesy of Barclay Tagg website).