Big Blue Kitten wins G3 Fort Marcy

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With a horse loaded with run, all jockey Joe Bravo needed was to find an opening in the $150,000 Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 2 at Belmont Park (VIDEO).

When a hole opened up, the jockey shot through with favored Big Blue Kitten, who drew clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths ahead of 41-1 longshot Howe Great Howe Great. Middleburg was an even third a head back. It was Bravo’s third graded stakes win on Belmont’s Saturday card, as he took the earlier Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT) with Rosalind and the Westchester (gr. III) with Tonalist Tonalist.

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“He’s a pretty cool horse,” Bravo said. “(Trainer) Chad (Brown) told me one thing about him—if you just point him at horses, he’ll run them down. And ever since the first time I rode, that’s all I’ve done—point him at horses.” The favorite at 9-5, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Big Blue Kitten sat last of eight horses, 12 lengths back, after Howe Great ran the first quarter in :24.52. The 7-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy improved to seventh after a half-mile in :48.96 and six furlongs in 1:13.15, before finding space to rally in the stretch.
Big Blue Kitten finished off the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.97 over a turf course rated firm. “(Bravo) took his chances inside again and this horse likes to be ridden that way–in cover–and if he finds a seam inside, he’s willing to go through it,” Brown said. “I’m so proud of this horse, at his age, how consistent he’s been for our barn.”

The winner paid $5.70, $3.70, and $2.90 across the board. Howe Great delivered $23.40 and $10. Middleburg returned $4.50 to show. Big Blue Kitten improved his record to 12-6-4 from 25 career starts and boosted his earnings to just more than $1.6 million. The Fort Marcy was his fourth graded score. Divine Oath was fourth, followed by Sky Blazer Sky Blazer, V. E. Day, Mr Speaker Mr Speaker, and Unbridled Ocean to complete the order of finish. Hyper was scratched. Big Blue Kitten was bred in Kentucky out of Unaccounted For mare Spent Gold.