HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Mar. 5, 2017) — Kathballu ($12.20), a Kentucky-bred daughter of California stallion Bluegrass Cat, held off fast-closing Natural Wonder to win Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes by three-quarters of a length at Oaklwan Park.
Fantastic Style, the 4-5 favorite, didn’t get a clean start in the 5½-furlong race, but led through early fractions of :22.33 and :45.67 for the first half mile. Kathballu stalked closely in second and stuck her head in front as the field entered the stretch, hitting the wire in 1:04.24 over a fast track. Marquee Miss finished third and was followed by D R C’s Pretty Sky, Fantastic Style and Super Saks. Durango and Her Love for Pappy completed the order of finish.
Kathballu improved her record to 7-3-3 from 24 starts and has now earned $409,349.
“She was all heart,” said jockey Channing Hill. “Not the ideal trip, as I was inside and had to press on the entire way. I thought (Fantastic Style) would be a little faster and she did get out there just a little bit, and since I knew Marquee Miss so well I knew she would keep pressure to the outside. I didn’t want to take her (Kathballu) back from a good spot, and from there good horses make you look good because she just powered through it and she kept running all the way to the wire. She ran fantastic. I give Kenny (McPeek, trainer) and the barn a lot of credit, because I didn’t do anything, but ask her from the eighth pole.”