Pay the Kitten figures tough off the layoff Sunday at Keeneland
Sunday's sixth race at Keeneland is a $60,000 maiden special weight on the turf for fillies and mares. With favoritism likely to fall on Lemon Squeeze (#5) off a sharp second-place effort at Woodbine for Mark Casse, Pay the Kitten (#7) figures to be the better value in the nine-furlong test.
Whereas Lemon Squeeze only debuted September 2, Pay the Kitten got a head starting twice at two last season. Trained at the time by Chad Brown, the daughter of Kitten's Joy finished sixth in her Belmont Park debut in late October, then followed up with a fourth over the Aqueduct turf a month later.
A full sister to 2015 champion turf male Big Blue Kitten, Pay the Kitten was soon sent to Florida, where she worked continuously until early February, but then was out of serious training for five months, presumably due to illness or infirmity.
Now trained by Mike Maker, Pay the Kitten has been working continuously since early July, most recently at the Churchill Downs Training Center, where she recorded a bullet five-furlong move September 2 and a solid half-mile in :48 last weekend.
Given time to mature, Pay the Kitten has the look of a strong contender with Florent Geroux taking over the reins.