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Bloodhorse

Kauai Katie winning the Matron Stakes at Belmont Park in September 2012. Photo courtesy Eclipse Sportswire.

By Blood-Horse Staff

Sprinting is old hat for Kauai Katie, so it is only fitting that the speedy daughter of Malibu Moon returns to shorter distances in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park on New Year's Day.

The Old Hat, a six-furlong event that drew a field of five newly-turned sophomore fillies, is the fifth race of Jan. 1 at the South Florida oval with an approximate post time of 2:37 p.m. EST. It is joined by the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby, in which a wide-open field of eight 3-year-olds will go a mile (Race 9, 4:35 p.m.), and the $100,000 Spectacular Bid which attracted six of the same age going six panels (Race 3, 1:41 p.m.).

But Kauai Katie is the biggest name of the day, winner of her first three races by more than 22 lengths, and she'll be heavily favored in her season debut. The Todd Pletcher-trained lass made her first start at Saratoga Race Course July 20 with a front-running 12-length triumph going 5 1/2 furlongs despite stumbling at the break from the rail post position. She came right back at Saratoga on Aug. 12 to win the 6 1/2 -furlong Adirondack (gr. II) by nearly three lengths under a hand ride, then put Stonestreet Stables in the Belmont Park winner's circle on Sept. 30 following a 7 1/2 -length victory in the Matron (gr. II) at six furlongs.

Kauai Katie comes off her first defeat, fourth in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park.

"It wasn't a bad race, (but) it was probably a little farther than she wants to go," Pletcher explained. "She'll probably be best at sprint distances for now, and this is a good spot to get started."

Rosie Napravnik, who has ridden the Kentucky-bred filly in all of her starts, will venture from Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for the return mount in the Old Hat.

Beside Kauai Katie in her number one post position will be Power Lady, a promising daughter of Discreet Cat  . Trained by John Servis, Power Lady finished a troubled third in her stakes debut in the $100,000 Smart Halo at Laurel Park on Nov. 3.

"She was in behind a wall of horses the whole race and turning for home, she had an opening on the inside. She went for it and the horse in front came down on top of her," said Servis, whose filly was beaten by 1 1/4 lengths.

Power Lady was an easy winner in her previous two starts, breaking her maiden at Penn National Race Course by nearly 12 lengths Sept. 13 and scoring by nearly eight lengths in an entry-level allowance at Parx Racing Oct. 6.

"She showed pretty much from the get-go that she's a pretty talented filly," Servis said.

Power Lady will be making her graded-stakes debut in the Old Hat with a rather imposing rival in Kauai Katie.

"I'm glad she's in the one hole and inside of me, but she's also a very talented filly," Servis remarked of Kauai Katie. "This will be a good test for my filly to see where she's at."

She's All Scat, who is trained by Michael Pino, will seek her second straight stakes score in the Old Hat. The daughter of 2007 Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Scat Daddy   fought back in the stretch to capture the $100,000 Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel Nov. 24. Her victory was her second in four lifetime starts for Joni & Barry Butzow.

Cor Cor is also seeking a second straight stakes victory in the Old Hat, having captured the $75,000 Sandpiper at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 1 by a half-length. Previously, trainer Joan Scott saddled the daughter of Smoke Glacken   for a debut victory at Keeneland by nearly three lengths for owners Steve Ballou and Harriet Waldron.

Pinnacle Racing Stables' Florida-bred Gottcha Gold filly Cupids Messenger, trained by Bill Kaplan, rounds out the field.

$100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3)

Gulfstream Park, Race 5, 2:37 p.m. EST

3-year-old fillies, six furlongs

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Kauai Katie (KY)

J.R. Velazquez

T A Pletcher

2

Power Lady (KY)

J. Rocco Jr.

J C Servis

3

Cor Cor (FL)

S. Spieth

J Scott

4

Cupids Messenger (FL)

J.C. Leyva

W A Kaplan

5

She's All Scat (KY)

J. Bravo

M V Pino

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