Crispy Cat impresses with Texas Glitter triumph

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Crispy Cat made his U.S. stakes debut a winning one and did so in impressive fashion by registering a 1 1/2-length victory over Golden Nugget in the $100,000 Texas Glitter,  the first of two grass stakes for 3-year-olds, Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Crispy Cat began his career in Europe, where he was Group 2-placed twice during his 2-year-old campaign. Transferred to trainer Jorge Delgado’s barn for his 3-year-old season, Crispy Cat finally launched his North American career by finishing second, beaten a neck, after a prolonged speed duel under first-level allowance conditions here on March 10.

Crispy Cat, a son of the Irish-bred sire Ardad, showed good early speed again in the five-furlong Texas Glitter, engaging 4-5 favorite Dr Oseran right from the outset. The pair remained on even terms for a half-mile before Crispy Cat asserted his superiority in the final furlong, drawing well clear through midstretch before holding safe a late run from last-out maiden winner Golden Nugget.

Dr Oseran, who entered the Texas Glitter on a modest two-race winning streak, gradually weakened to finish third. He was followed, in turn, by Three Zero, Marley Luck, Gordian Knot and Vamos Viejo.

Owned by AMO Racing USA, Crispy Cat covered the distance over a firm course in 55.71 seconds and paid $6.60.  

“I wanted to slow it down, but the horse was ready. He was ready for this race,” winning rider Paco Lopez said. “He was very sharp. I think he needed that last race.”

*** Sassy Nature has certainly found herself a home on the turf, winning for the second time in as many starts on grass after pulling away to an impressive 2 1/4-length decision over Just a Care in the $100,000 Melody O Colors Stakes for 3-year-olds fillies.

Sassy Nature, who began her career on the West Coast in races restricted to California-breds, shipped to south Florida to join trainer Jack Sisterson’s barn earlier this winter. She wasted little time finding the local winner’s circle when switching to grass to register an easy and popular 2 3/4-length allowance victory here on March 1.

With jockey Julien Leparoux aboard for the first time, Sassy Nature broke well and sped right to the front in the five-furlong Melody O Colors, readily shook free on the final turn and was never seriously menaced thereafter. Just a Care steadied back to the rear of the pack shortly after the start, moved quickly to contention near the inside on the turn, steadied briefly again awaiting clearance in early stretch before splitting horses and finishing strongly to be second-best while no threat to the winner. Vai Bella rallied from well back to finish third.

Sassy Nature, a daughter of Straight Fire owned by C T R Stables, returned $4.00 after completing five furlongs in 55.50.

“She’s quick. You just have to let her do her thing,” Leparoux said. “ She’s fast, puts you into the race nicely and finishes up strong. We thought we had the best filly in the race, why change anything? Just let her go and see what happens.”