Spooky Kitten went a long way toward beefing up the credentials of Circle 8's Margaret's Joy with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the Gr. III, $200,000 William L. McKnight Stakes on the record-breaking Pegasus World Cup Invitational program at Gulfstream Park yesterday.
The 5-year-old gelding by English Channel-Spooky Kitten, by Kitten's Joy, the first foal out of his dam and a full brother to Margaret's Joy, received a textbook ride from Julien Leparoux in the 1 1/2-mile race on the grass. Leparoux had him sitting in sixth place in the two path down the backstretch, and when the jockey asked for his best on the final turn, Spooky Kitten powered past the pack and went after leader Cross Border, nailing him in the final jump after a long stretch drive. Spooky Kitten, a $10,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling bred by Calumet Farm, lit up the tote board, paying $74.60, $29.80 and $17.40, the price no doubt due to the fact that his first eight career races came at Turf Paradise. Included in that span was a five-race winning streak. The gelding is now 7-2-0 in 12 lifetime starts with earnings of $207,806.
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