High Cotton's 3-year-old filly R Angel Katelyn turned in another stellar performance in Saturday's $100,000 Gasparilla S., winning by 1 3/4-lengths for her third consecutive stakes victory.
High Cotton, a leading 2-year-old sire of winners in 2016, scored a stakes double Saturday when his 3-year-old colt High Roller carded his first stakes win in the Frank Whiteley Jr. S. at Laurel Park.
With several dozen of co-owner Rich Averill’s family members, friends and co-workers in attendance, R Angel Katelyn didn't disappoint her fans, scoring in front-running style in a solid 1:23.94 for the seven furlongs.
“It’s hard to win a race, and it’s really hard to win in front of everybody. That’s what makes this so special,” Averill said. “It’s very exciting for me. She ran unbelievable today, and this is one of my top moments at Tampa Bay Downs.”
The triumph was the third consecutive stakes score for the Florida-bred, who had won the Sandpiper S. on Dec. 3 and the Juvenile Fillies Sprint at Gulfstream Park West in November.
Bred by Craig Lawrence Wheeler, R Angel Katelyn, now 4-for-5 lifetime with a second, is owned by Averill Racing, Clark Freeman (CCF Racing Stable) and Roger Smith (K Lauren Racing).
Trainer Gerald Bennett assessed R Angel Katelyn’s performance. “This track always slows later in the day, and when I saw she ran the half-mile in (44.32 seconds), I thought she was going a little too quick,” he said. “But she has been training like a monster in the mornings, and she showed a lot of class today.”