Santa Anita's hillside turf course, that is! Yesterday, she skimmed down the course, guided by jockey Mike Smith, to win the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap at Oak Tree -- her first graded stakes win. She won by a length over the speedy La Tee and Northern California invader Victorina. It marked Queen's fifth win in 12 starts (of which 5 are second-place finishes) -- the most recent being a one-length win in a division of the Daisycutter Handicap on Del Mar's closing day.
"Queen" is owned by C.T. Grether, Inc., the family of a much-loved and admired friend of mine, Tom Grether, who passed away last year. Tom loved horse racing, loved life, never had a mean word to say about anyone, and got so much joy from his horses. He would have been so proud of Queen. So I just want to say, congratuations, Tom!
What's next for Queen of the Catsle? According to trainer, Howard Zucker, maybe the Monrovia Hcp. at the beginning of Santa Anita's Winer-Spring meet. He'd like to keep her sprinting down the hill. She will certainly be one to watch.