Eye on the Oaks: She’s a Tiger


She's A Tiger wins the Del Mar Debutante on her way to Champion 2-year-old filly honors (PhotoS by Benoit & Associates).

The Eclipse Award winner as 2013 champion 2-year-old filly, She’s a Tiger has performed consistently throughout her career. In her six starts, she has three victories and three runner-up finishes. 

This daughter of Tale of the Cat has proven herself as one of the top Kentucky Oaks hopefuls.

She’s a Tiger is not only one of the most auspicious Oaks contenders, but she also has remarkable potential as a broodmare due to her bloodlines. She presents a most-interesting pedigree, being the result from breeding Tale of the Cat to the Cahill Road mare Shandra Smiles. Multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter Smiling Tiger is a three-quarter sibling to She’s a Tiger.

One cannot help but admire this lovely pedigree, but based upon She’s a Tiger’s most dominant ancestors it may not bode well for long distances.

Tale of the Cat is a son of breed-shaping sire Storm Cat and is out of a Mr. Prospector mare. His third dam is a daughter of 1970 English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky II, the great Northern Dancer’s first international superstar.

The bottom half of She’s a Tiger’s pedigree adds a strong influence of Dr. Fager blood. Her broodmare sire is by Fappiano and out of Gana Facil and therefore a full-brother to 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled. Dr. Fager lineage appears twice in Cahill Road’s pedigree. He was the broodmare sire of Fappiano, and his dam, Aspidistra, was also the third dam of Gana Facil. Additionally, She’s a Tiger’s second dam, Beyond the Storm, was by Great Above. A grandson of Rough’n Tumble, Great Above’s dam is Ta Wee, a two-time champion sprinter. This heightens the Dr. Fager influence since his sire was Rough’n Tumble and his dam, the aforementioned Aspidistra, also produced Ta Wee.


She’s a Tiger made her career debut in late June of last year in a 5-furlong maiden special weight. She led from start to finish and won by nine lengths as the heavy favorite. After this strong start, she improved to 2-for-2 when winning the Landaluce Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. In this 6-furlong race on Hollywood synthetic surface, she carried 2 pounds more than the runner-up and the third-place finisher. With her front-running effort, She’s a Tiger won by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:12.04.

In August, she stepped up to graded stakes company in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. Though she would suffer her first defeat, She’s a Tiger carried four pounds more than the winner and the third-place finisher. Concave defeated She’s a Tiger in the Sorrento by a half-length with the runner-up 4 ½ lengths clear of the third-place finisher.

At the end of that month, She’s a Tiger would return to her winning form in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens would pair with this filly for the first time, but her race strategy remained the same. She dueled with Awesome Baby for the early lead. Leaving the turn, however, She’s a Tiger gained a short lead and drew clear. Nearing the finish line, She’s a Tiger held off runner-up Fascinating by a half-length. The Tale of the Cat filly paid $11 for the win and completed the 7-furlong race in 1:22.71.

She’s a Tiger’s abilities were tested on Santa Anita’s dirt main track in late September in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes. In this 1 1/16-mile race, she kept a position close to the pace through the opening half-mile and moved out three paths wide for a bid on the backstretch. She’s a Tiger got a slight lead into the second turn but would be caught late in the stretch by Secret Compass, who scored the victory by a head.

Despite her loss, the Jeff Bonde trainee entered the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ with a very nice résumé and a good deal of support in the wagering. Going off at odds of 5.20-to-1, She’s a Tiger established the pace with quick fractions of :22.55 for the opening quarter and :45.31 for the half-mile. She led by four lengths after running three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.30. 

Ria Antonia, a 32.30-to-1 longshot, came up from seventh to challenge She’s a Tiger’s lead with about a sixteenth of a mile left to run. With 40 yards to the final post, She’s a Tiger drifted out and brushed eventual second-place finisher Ria Antonia. Finishing with a time of 1:43.02 for the 1 1/16-mile race, She’s a Tiger crossed the finish line leading by a nose. An inquiry sign went up immediately after the race, and following a steward’s review of the stretch run She’s a Tiger was disqualified to second for interfering with Ria Antonia.

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