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Thursday, July 26, 2012


Duchess Stakes Preview: Griffith so ‘Excited’…and he just can’t hide it


TORONTO, July 25 – Katie Get Excited, a three-year-old daughter of Stevie Wonderboy, trained by Ricky Griffith, goes after her first added-money win and third overall score in Saturday’s $150,000 Duchess Stakes, at Woodbine.

Sporting a record of two wins, two seconds and one third from six starts, Katie Get Excited heads into the seven-furlong event off a second-place finish as the 4-5 favourite in a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race on July 7.


“From the very beginning, we really liked the way she worked, how she handled herself on the racetrack,” said Griffith of the Debmar Stables’ colour-bearer. “She’s a very laid-back filly, a horse that everyone likes to be around.”

The Kentucky-bred chestnut made her debut last June in a five-furlong ‘Poly’ race at the Toronto oval, sent off at 10-1. She crossed the wire eighth, 10 ¼ lengths behind the winner, 2012 Alywow and Ontario Damsel champion, Dene Court.

“It was too short of a race for her, but it did give her racing experience,” offered Griffith. “She didn’t have a great start and she was checked on the turn, so it wasn’t the easiest of trips.”

Next time out, on July 9, at 5 ½ furlongs on the main track, Katie Get Excited finished second to 2011 Grade 3 Natalma Stakes winner and this year’s Woodbine Oaks runner-up, Northern Passion.

In her final start of last year, on August 13, at seven furlongs on the ‘Poly,’ Katie Get Excited broke her maiden in impressive fashion, a 3 ¾-length triumph as the 4-5 choice.

“Northern Passion is certainly no slouch,” said Griffith. “You could see that our filly was starting to learn the game in that effort. The next race, she was very impressive.”

The lifetime earner of $121,016 kicked off her three-year-old campaign in winning fashion on April 20, holding on for a neck score at seven panels.

“We had a few setbacks with her, but to come back off an extended layoff and put in that type of performance was great,” recalled Griffith. “She dug in and didn’t give up.”

In her first added-money appearance, the 1 1/16-mile Selene Stakes on May 13, Katie Get Excited finished third to the accomplished Dixie Strike, who was third in the Queen’s Plate and recently won the Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown Series, at Fort Erie on July 15.

“Dixie Strike and Tu Endie Wei (second in the Selene), they are both very good horses,” said Griffith. “We were really pleased with how determined she was.”

Now, Griffith will point her towards a shot at Duchess glory.

“She’s just the type of horse you love to have in your barn,” noted Griffith. “She always gives you her best.”

Also on tap on Saturday, the Vandal Stakes, carded as race three.


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