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Here Kittykittykitty Defends Mesilla Title

Here Kittykittykitty returns from layoff in Mesilla Handicap.

Q-Racing Journal
March 7, 2013

Melvin Neugebauer’s Here Kittykittykitty returns from an extended layoff to defend his title in the $85,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) for older New Mexico-breds over 350 yards on Sunday afternoon at Sunland Park.

Here Kittykittykitty (Genuine Strawfly-One Diamond Cat by Now I Know) makes his first appearance since racing to a close second-place finish, beaten by a head as the 13-10 favorite, in the Zia Handicap (RG2) at Ruidoso Downs back in July.

The 6-year-old gelding made his only other 2012 start in last year’s Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap and lived up to odds-on expectations with a late-charging win. He won by an expanding neck in :16.897 for the 350 yards with a tailwind.

Here Kittykittykitty has made only 19 starts over his four-year career, however, he has proven to be among the best of his generation among New Mexico-breds with six wins, six second-place finishes and two thirds while earning $424,924. The last time he stepped out of New Mexico-bred competition, he was fifth in the 2011 The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) behind world champion Cold Cash 123.

Chin Lee’s Sandys Jesse (Jesse James Jr-Sandys Fame by Dash Ta Fame) could be the hot horse at the right time in the Mesilla. The 3-year-old mare was second in a Sunland Park allowance race on January 25 and then came back to take the NMHBA Stakes (RG2) by one-half length on February 17.

The Paul Jones-owned and -trained Erasmus B Dragon (Stel Corona-Lady Lucchese by Spanish Boot) and Quarter Circle W Bar’s Bet On Ballou (Sum Fun To Bet-Ballou Thirty Two by Strait To The Bank) each step up to stakes competition after multiple consecutive wins against lesser company.

Erasmus B Dragon won for a $12,500 claiming tag at Zia Park on October 27 and then went to Sunland Park to take a conditioned allowance race and optional-claiming race.

Bet On Ballou, from the Giles barn, is two-for-two at Sunland Park. The 8-year-old gelding won a $40,000 optional-claiming race and then pulled away to win a $25,000 optional-claiming race.