Britain’s Kitten with Deshawn Parker aboard gets a head in front of Sutherland to win the 38th running of the $100,000 Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds. (Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr.)
Kevin Kilroy/Fair Grounds Press Office
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Bella Mia Stable’s Britain’s Kitten came with a late run and battled Sutherland through the final stages of the $100,000 Woodchopper before finally getting up late to win by a head. After torrential rains on Friday at Fair Grounds, the Woodchopper was taken off the turf and run at 1 mile and 70 yards across the main track listed as good.
Trained by Brian Williamson, Britain’s Kitten beat three 3-year-olds, running 1 mile 70 yards in 1:44.10 to collect his first career stakes win. Deshawn Parker held the victorious reins in the Woodchopper, as he did earlier in the card winning the Louisiana Futurity (Girls) aboard Norah G.
Longshot Life is a Banquet hustled to the lead to set the opening fraction in :24.14 and :47.80 but soon after was overtaken by Sutherland. Britain’s Kitten saved ground in third and tipped out to begin a run at Sutherland who came out to fight off the charge but could not deny the game effort of Britain’s Kitten. Life is a Banquet and Un Ojo finished well back.
“I just tried hard all the way down the lane hoping we could get there,” Parker said. “We battled all the way. I was proud of him. I hit him a couple times left-handed and he moved on a little bit. He just kind of handled it home after that. Rey (jockey Gutierrez on 2nd place finisher Sutherland) and I said to each other right after the race ‘that was pretty tight.’ We really didn’t know who won.”
Forward to 6:14 for Race 5.
Britain’s Kitten is a son of Big Blue Kitten out of the English Channel mare Dram Girl and was bred in Kentucky by TCR Ranch. The even money favorite winner returned $4.00 and $2.10 (no show bets).
“He’s a little better on dirt and an off track, so I was kind of hoping this (washed off the turf) would happen,” Williamson admitted. “We were tracking the weather forecast and it came out in our favor. This horse is bred for turf and he’s run well on it, but you just never really know. His last couple numbers (speed figures) on the dirt were very good.”
Britain’s Kitten career earnings went up by $60,000 for a new total of $241,279 from a record of 3-4-3 in 13 starts.
Racing at Fair Grounds resumes New Year’s Day at the regular first post of 1:15 p.m. CT. The first stakes action of 2023 will commence on Saturday, Jan 7 with the inaugural running of the $75,000 Gary P. Palmisano Memorial Stakes and the $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial Stakes, a pair Louisiana-bred sprints for 4-year-olds and up.