Crazy Catlady isn’t the only feline equine with whom I spent some time when I was in Florida; on my way home up the Gulf Coast, I spent a day at Tampa Bay Downs, starting the morning at the barn of Bernell Rhone.
Ted Grevelis is a fellow blogger and managing partner of Grevelis Racing Stable. While I’m always interested to hear how his horses are doing, February brought news of particular interest to the Backstretch household: Tabby Lane was moving in.
Tabby was at Tampa, and Grevelis Racing claimed her in February out of a race that she won by five lengths. Her racing career did not begin auspiciously: it took her nine tries and four tracks to break her maiden, which she finally did at the Meadowlands last November. But when she got to the winner’s circle, she apparently decided that she liked it, as in four subsequent starts, she has recorded three wins and a second, all at Tampa Bay Downs.
Tabby is a four-year-old daughter of Even The Score (a son of Unbridled’s Song) out of Keeley Chay; she’s big and she’s grey, and gentle as a housecat. She’s trained by Bernell Rhone, and the Rhone family were incredibly gracious and accommodating when I stopped by their barn on a March morning.
LeAnn Rhone, Bernell’s daughter, brought Tabby out for me; Tabby stood reasonably well, but, eager to nibble at the grass at her feet, she didn’t pose for photos particularly well. She is, fortunately, rather susceptible to treats, so some strategically offered carrots earned us enough good will to grab a few shots to send to Ted and his partners.
The Backstretch felines have made a tidy sum off of Tabby’s wins, and as we are rather partial to tabby cats here, we didn’t need much encouragement to become some of her biggest fans. She’s in our watch list, and we’ll be watching (if we can) tonight when she makes her first start at Prairie Meadows. She’s goes in the sixth race, post time 10:37 Eastern time. She’ll be without regular jockey Dean Butler, but she’s been made the 8-5 morning line favorite in a field of six; Ted offers an overview of the race this morning. Here’s hoping that an AOC at PM suits her as well as a similar level did at Tampa Bay. Good luck and safe trip, Tabby!