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Coming Full Circle

By Noah Joseph

Last Saturday, Sniper Kitten came charging down the stretch to win the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, the biggest race of the year at Canterbury Park. Under a perfectly timed ride from jockey Tyler Gaffalione, Sniper Kitten ran down the longshot Nobrag Justfact, winning by a length. Fans knew Sniper Kitten was an up and coming horse, and that his sire, Kitten’s Joy, was an elite turf horse and sire, but what they may not have known was that this horse has a connection to Canterbury that goes all the way back to the 80s.

To find that evidence, one has to look at the female side of Sniper Kitten’s family. Go down the page and you will see that the third dam of Sniper Kitten is Coax Classic, a daughter of Caveat out of the L’Enjoleur mare Coaxing. Born in 1985, Coax Classic made her career debut a winning one at Canterbury on September 26, 1987. She won for owner Tom Kellin and trainer Monti Sims, and she was ridden by Ronnie Allen Jr. She then tried stakes company and ran fourth in the Fan Appreciation Stakes on closing day of the season. Her 1988 Canterbury campaign consisted of a win in the Golden Gopher Stakes before finishing seventh in the Grade 3 Canterbury Oaks behind the classy California filly Do So. Coax Classic won her next race, an allowance, before running in three more stakes, finishing on the board once. Her 1989 Canterbury campaign consisted of low efforts and she became a claimer, yet she did win three consecutive races at one point. Her last start at Canterbury was a fourth in the Burnsville Handicap. After that, she spent the rest of her career in California, in where her last start was in 1992.

In 1994, as a broodmare, she was sold to Ken Ramsey while in foal to Black Tie Affair. Coax Classic’s daughter, No Deadline, by Skywalker, produced Cat On a Tin Roof, who is the dam of Sniper Kitten. Maybe this goes to show that no matter how long or far you go, you can go home again.