This week’s featured stakes race is the 36th running of the $30,000 Golden Boy, which pits the undefeated Balooga Bull against four rival 3-year-olds going six furlongs. Should Balooga Bull win the Golden Boy, which goes as the third race on Friday, he would join an illustrious group of past local champions.
Previous winners of the Golden Boy include Prime Time T.V., P.C.’s Bluff, Royal Frolic and Plenty Chilly -- all Manitoba Derby winners. Other notable winners of the Golden Boy were Proven Reserve, Northern Spike and One and Only, but today we have chosen to highlight the winner of the 1982 Golden Boy, Marcel Chartier’s De Cat.
You can scour the record books, but you will be hard pressed to find a horse that put together better two and 3-year-old seasons than the Glen Ball-trained De Cat. Purchased by Ball as 2-year-old for $45,000 USD from Noel Hickey’s Irish Acres Farm in Florida, De Cat dominated the local racing scene and was voted Champion 2-Year-Old of 1981 and Champion 3-Year-Old of 1982 at the local HBPA Awards celebration.
In his first 12 starts from June 5, 1981 to August 14, 1982, De Cat chalked up an impressive 10 wins and a third -- and when he won he didn’t just defeat his rivals, he demolished them with multi-length victories. Commenting on De Cat’s ability to get out of the gate, regular rider Irwin Driedger said, “It takes an awful fast horse to outbreak him.”
De Cat won the Marquis Downs Derby in August 1982 over a gnarly off-track and was then shipped to Stampede Park in Calgary for the President’s Stakes, where he was confronted by another ugly off-track. He didn’t fair as well in his race at Stampede Park and was pulled up with a splint problem.
De Cat was never quite the same after that. He was still a decent competitor, but he had lost his edge due to nagging physical problems. He could still run monster races on occasion however, and in his final winning effort at Assiniboia Downs in August 1983, he equaled the track record for about seven furlongs.
De Cat’s final race at the Downs was in June 1984 and he was sold shortly thereafter. He went on to race until the age of 10 and closed out his career with a winning effort at Mountaineer Park in 1989.
De Cat’s owner Marcel Chartier owned numerous “star” horses at the Downs, including Macale, Lexico, Taboga and Medieval Time, to mention just a few. Chartier certainly knew a good horse when he saw one, but he reserved especially kind words for the winner of the 1982 Golden Boy.
“De Cat, was a great horse.”
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, 2012