Direct the Cat is all that in Rachel’s Turn

Heading into Friday’s Rachel’s Turn Stakes for two-year-old West Virginia-bred fillies, it was perhaps fair to be on the fence about Direct the Cat. Her last-out maiden-breaking score – by 11 lengths — was impressive, but after two just-OK races, it seemed to come a bit out of nowhere.

After another dominant win, though, the time for fence-sitting is over. Direct the Cat is one speedy filly.

Under jockey Reshawn Latchman, Direct the Cat made every step a winning one in the Rachel’s Turn, running away to a 6 ¾-length victory in 51.89 seconds for 4 ½ furlongs on a fast main track.

Bred by the late John McKee, Direct the Cat is a daughter of Redirect out of the Fiber Sonde mare Cat Thats Grey. She is now 2-for-4 in her young career with earnings of over $70,000.

Direct the Cat paid $3.60 as the odds-on favorite, with Ran Out of Trainer a distant second and well ahead of Navy Band in third.

Direct the Cat is owned and trained by John McKee’s wife Cynthia. The win here was perhaps particularly poignant, since Rachel’s Turn was one of John McKee’s top trainees.

Saturday’s Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes, the boys’ version of the Rachel’s Turn, appears to be a more wide-open affair. The Tim Grams-trained Powered by Love is the 7-2 morning line favorite off a nine-length maiden score last time out.

[Play in the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics Name That Foal contest!]

Other interesting contenders include Jubawithatwist (9-2), a flashy debut winner who has been second and third in two subsequent stakes tries for trainer Kristy Petty, and King Kontie (4-1), who impressed in a debut score on the Colonial turf and then was a credible third in the Hickory Tree on the main track there.


Direct the Cat
Direct the Cat dominated the Rachel’s Turn Stakes by nearly seven lengths. Photo by Coady Photography.