After dominating the state of Indiana to the tune of nine wins and one third in 11 starts, William C. and William P. DeLong and Katey McClymont's Always About Katey retuns to the local scene, looking to continue an impressive start to her career when she faces five rivals in Saturday's $113,000 American National for 2-year-old pacing fillies at Balmoral Park.
The connections of Always About Katey have been high on the daughter of Always A Virgin-Topville Cyberwave from the time they purchased her at the 2011 Hoosier Sale.
"From the moment we broke her, the first time we hitched her, we knew she was something special,” said Pat DeLong. "Her biggest asset is she takes care of herself. She still looks as good going into this race as the day we sent her down to Roger Welch to train her and that's a tough thing for a 2-year-old filly to be able to do.”
The filly, who was sold under the name of Topville Classical as a $17,000 yearling, also underwent a name change thanks to Beau DeLong, said Welch.
"The DeLongs have an employee (Katey McClymont) who works at their food company and the filly's name was changed on her behalf. She owns a 10 percent stake in the horse and it's her first horse. That's not a bad way to get into the game.”
The filly rewarded her owner's faith in her by winning her career debut at Hoosier Park in easy fashion. One week later she stepped up to face "open” company in the $53,900 Hanover Stake here at Balmoral Park, where she cruised to another easy victory with Todd Warren at the controls.
It was back to the Hoosier State after that. Following a third-place finish in an Indiana Sires Stakes, Always About Katey rattled off three more wins, including a $200,000 ISS Gold final, giving her a pair of $200,000 finals in her first season. That victory really seemed to impress her conditioner.
"She's just so tough, just so tough,” said Welch. "She was parked to the quarter in :27 and change with a half in :55.1 and still just paced away from the rest of the field in the stretch. She had every right in the world to pack it in but she didn't. She just dug in and showed her class. She's really a tough filly.”
The filly then went up against top class company in her latest start, going wire to wire in a 3 3/4-length triumph in the $75,000 Circle City, in which she stopped the clock in 1:53.4. (Balmoral)