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Cattlewash making headlines heading into Progress elim

November 17, 2020
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After suffering respiratory issues earlier this season, Cattlewash is healthy and hitting his best stride. The 3-year-old pacing colt has won three of his last four races and finished off the board only once in his last seven starts as he heads to Wednesday’s single $35,000 Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs, where he is the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

Cattlewash enters the elim off victories in the Matron Stakes last week at Dover and the Monument Circle Stakes on Nov. 6 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. His stretch of improved form began at the Little Brown Jug in September, where he finished second in the final from post seven, and continued with a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last month at Red Mile.

He also won an elimination of the Breeders Crown and was third in the final, beaten by only a quarter length in a race that saw the top-eight finishers separated by two lengths.

For the season, the Ron Burke-trained Cattlewash has won six of 15 starts and $487,986 for breeder/owner Bill Donovan. David Miller has driven the horse since July.

“He fits 2020 perfectly because it’s been a challenge with him for most of the year,” Donovan said. “He kept getting respiratory infections that were affecting his breathing. Apparently, by the time the Jug came, they got it under control. He’s now showing us what he can do when he can breathe properly. He’s been a real pleasure since the Jug.”

Last year, Cattlewash won four of 13 races and $311,791. He was second to Papi Rob Hanover in the Matron for 2-year-old male pacers and third behind Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover in both the Breeders Crown elimination and final. Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover finished 1-2, respectively, in voting for the division’s Dan Patch Award.

“There was no question that (Cattlewash) had talent,” Donovan said. “Coming into this year, he was in the shadow of Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover, obviously, but I had faith in him all along that he could nip at their heels anyway. With Papi Rob Hanover and Tall Dark Stranger retired, he’s moving toward the head of the class.

“He’s becoming a different horse. I think because his maladies are behind him, hopefully, and he’s racing better, he’s developed a degree of confidence. He’s a handsome individual. He’s got brains; he stays pretty cool, calm, and collected around the track. Not too much flusters him. On the track now, he’s all business.”

Cattlewash is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Road Bet. Donovan bought Road Bet at the end of her 3-year-old season and raced her for two years before breeding her to Somebeachsomewhere with the hopes of getting a colt. After Cattlewash was born, he sold the mare.

“I wanted to breed a daughter of Bettor’s Delight to Somebeachsomewhere because I thought that was a really good cross,” Donovan said.

Donovan is exploring opportunities to stand Cattlewash in New Jersey to service a limited book of mares while continuing the horse’s racing career at age 4, following the path of pacer Bettor’s Wish this year and trotter Father Patrick in 2015.

“We’re going to see if we can put it together in the next couple weeks,” Donovan said. “Kind of get a jump start on the interest that’s there.

“But Ronnie is pretty adamant that we haven’t seen the best of him. He’s excited to train him next year, so how could I go against that? Some of the miles he’s gone this year have been pretty eye opening. If we were able to equal or exceed that next year, it would be pretty awesome.”

The top-eight finishers from the Progress Pace elimination will advance to the $325,000 final Nov. 25 at Dover Downs. In addition to Cattlewash, the field includes Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa and Adios winner Catch The Fire as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Tattoo Artist, No Lou Zing, Fortify, and Captain Kirk.

Post time for Dover Downs is 4:30 p.m. (EST). Click here for complete entries.

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