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El Gato Malo Returns to Winner's Circle in HP Allowance

December 08, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

El Gato Malo aka “The Bad Cat” returned the winner’s circle Wednesday at Hollywood Park in a one mile turf allowance event. Under masterful handling by Rafael Bejarano, El Gato Malo was close up early, between horses on the turn, and much the best down the lane, scoring by just over two lengths. WPT is ON FIRE lately, win six of our last nine starts.

A six-year-old son of El Corredor, El Gato Malo hit the board in four starts this year for trainer Craig Dollase, but yesterday was his first trip to the winner’s circle on the year. He raced once in 2010, finishing second in the Dallas Turf Cup before being sidelined for about fourteen months due to a tendon injury. Notable wins earlier in his career include the 2008 Lone Star Derby (G3) and 2008 San Rafael Stakes (G3). A seven-time winner, El Gato Malo has been an exciting horse for his Partners, earning over $638,000 in his career.

“For being a six-year-old, El Gato Malo has plenty left in the tank,” said Craig. “He’s a high energy, quirky horse whose very talented. I appreciate West Point’s patience in giving the time he needed to make a full recovery from some injuries over the years, and come back to be a nice older horse.”

Terry Finley says, “El Gato Malo is a hard knocking son of a gun. He’s shown up in almost all of his races. We’re looking forward to a bang-up seven-year-old campaign with him. David Flores was his regular rider, and he did well with him, but I decided it was time for a change. Rafael (Bejarano) suits him very well and rode him perfectly yesterday.”

Look for El Gato Malo to run back at the Santa Anita meet.