Cathy’s Crunches Completes Stakes Hat Trick At GGF

Cathy’s Crunches Completes Stakes Hat Trick At GGF

      The precocious 2-year-old filly Cathy’s Crunches completed a stakes hat trick at Golden Gate Fields when she rallied smartly from just off the pace to win the $76,200 Corte Madera Stakes Saturday.

     Cathy’s Crunches’ victory in the one-mile Corte Madera was very impressive for several reasons.  The Florida-bred filly was making her third start in 29 days, racing around two turns for the first time in her career, and was asked to close into a very slow pace (four furlongs in :52.20 seconds, six furlongs in 1:15.76) while racing in tight quarters.

     Cathy’s Crunches was ridden in the Corte Madera by Chad Schvaneveldt, who had piloted her to a 5 1/2-length victory over fillies in the Golden Gate Debutante on Nov. 6 and a 2 1/2-length triumph over male rivals in the Golden Nugget Stakes on Nov. 20.
Both of those races were six-furlong events and Cathy’s Crunches was right on the pace.

     Cathy’s Crunches raced in fourth through the first half of the Corte Madera and was trapped behind a wall of horses until midstretch.  Schvaneveldt finally found an opportunity to move Cathy’s Crunches to the outside in deep stretch and she responded immediately upon seeing daylight, surging to win by a half-length over Lilacs and Lace and Game to Run, who dead-heated for second.

      “That’s what you call being much the best,” said Schvaneveldt.  “I thought she’d be laying closer but she broke a little flat-footed so I tucked her in behind horses.  She settled really nice.  At the head of the lane I had nowhere to go.  Finally I was able to step her out and she cut.  She’s got a good turn of foot.  She’s very game.”

     Cathy’s Crunches is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns the daughter of West Acre in partnership with Mark DeDomenico.  Hollendorfer didn’t see the Corte Madera live because he was in the paddock at Hollywood Park saddling Dakota Phone for the Native Diver Handicap when the Golden Gate feature was being run.  Dakota Phone, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, finished fourth in the Native Diver.

     “I watched the replay (of the Corte Madera) and I was proud of her,” said Hollendorfer.  “I thought she was pretty tenacious.”

     Cathy’s Crunches was a heavy 1-to-2 favorite in the Corte Madera and paid $3.00 after winning the race in 1:40.01.  The victory was the fifth in seven career starts for Cathy’s Crunches and the $45,000 payday increased her earnings to $153,520.

     Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.  Post time is 12:45 p.m. and the track is offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 programs, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers and $1 sodas.  The track will also broadcast all the professional football games via the NFL Sunday Ticket.