Photos Courtesy of HorsePhotos.com
By Lenny Shulman, Blood-Horse
Kauai Katie proved her opening day victory at Saratoga Race Course July 20 was no fluke as she came back to romp in the Aug. 12 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at the Spa by 2 3/4 lengths.
Kauai Katie, a 2-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, prevailed by 12 lengths in her maiden win, going 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.66. In the $196,000 Adirondack, she stretched out to 6 1/2 furlongs and stopped the timer in 1:16.81, defeating four foes.
Owned by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, Kauai Katie gained the Adirondack lead shortly after the gates opened under rider Rosie Napravnik. She set quick early fractions of :21.77 and :44.93 while maintaining a length advantage over Vitameta, with Fully Living, Salamera, and Cayllano further back.
On the turn Salamera made a move, briefly ranging up to the outside of Kauai Katie, but the leader shrugged off that challenge in quick order and kicked to a clear lead at the top of the lane that she maintained all the way to the wire without being threatened. Salamera finished second, while Fully Living ran third. Cayllano and Vitameta completed the order of finish.
"Talking about strategy from an inside post with a fast filly and a couple of fast ones outside, we don't want to take away what’s natural to her," Pletcher said. "When you go :22 3/5, :44 and change, you always worry how much they'll have in the tank coming back on short rest and going from 5 1/2 [furlongs] to 6 1/2 [furlongs], but I thought she did it well."
"She's a very talented filly. From the gate, I was riding with a lot of confidence," said Napravnik, who broke an 0-48 winless streak. "I knew I had a lot of horse underneath me. We were just able to wait. The 6 1/2 [furlongs] is a pretty big step from 5 1/2 [furlongs] for these babies. She just powered down the lane and she wasn’t at the bottom. Not that I didn’t have to ask her, I did ride her down the lane. She was obviously the best here today. At six [furlongs], I could feel them coming, but they weren’t going to get us today."
Stonestreet-owned or co-owned horses are 6-6 at the Saratoga meeting.
Kauai Katie, undefeated in two starts, was bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, which owns Fully Living. She is out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Pretty. Kauai Katie was a $90,000 Keeneland September sale yearling who blossomed in the past year, costing $490,000 at this year's Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of select 2-year-olds in training.
Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, Kauai Katie returned $2.80, $2.20, and $2.10. Salamera paid $4.10 and $2.50, while Fully Living brought $2.60 to show. The $2 exacta returned $10.40.
The victory marked the first Saratoga stakes victory for leading trainer Pletcher at the meeting.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
KAUAI KATIE EASIEST OF WINNERS IN ADIRONDACK