Friday, July 20, 2012

Juvenile Spotlight: Kauai Katie

Saratoga: one of the best places to find a quality two-year-old to follow throughout its career. By the stretch run of race five on the opening day card at the Spa, I had already chosen one of the many juveniles I am sure to “discover” at Saratoga this year. Finding two-year-olds in maiden races is one of my favorite things to do – especially at Saratoga – and is almost as rewarding as discovering a horse in a sale.

Last summer, I selected a two-year-old filly owned by Stonestreet Stables in a maiden race at Saratoga. That filly was My Miss Aurelia, the eventual Champion Two-Year-Old Filly of 2011 who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI). This year, yet another Stonestreet juvenile filly impressed me greatly – Kauai Katie.

A filly who brought $490,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale earlier this year, Kauai Katie is a beautifully bred filly. Her sire is Malibu Moon, a son of the great sire A.P. Indy. Malibu Moon is quite the successful stallion himself, having produced such grade one winners as Ask the Moon, Declan’s Moon, Devil May Care, Eden’s Moon, Funny Moon, Life At Ten, Malibu Mint, and Malibu Prayer. Malibu Moon is not the only son of A.P. Indy to have great success at stud; others include Bernardini, Mineshaft, Pulpit, and Stephen Got Even.

Kauai Katie’s dam is the black-type-winning More Than Pretty, who has also produced the recent impressive maiden winner at Hollywood Park, Winding Way. More Than Pretty is a daughter of More Than Ready, a grade one-winning son of the eight-time Argentinian leading sire Southern Halo. More Than Ready, despite being quite new to the world of broodmare sires, is the damsire of the black-type-winning Lawyer Tiffany. His future as a broodmare sire looks bright, as his sire produced the dams of the grade one-winning Miss Match, as well as the multiple group stakes-winning My Indy and the black-type-winning Temecula Creek.

Kauai Katie is bred on the same A.P. Indy/Southern Halo cross as the group one winners Garatero, Mi Amiguito, and Miss Match. This cross has been productive in yielding winners, producing approximately 72% winners.

The Todd Pletcher trainee debuted on opening day at Saratoga, being sent off as the favorite in a five and one-half-furlong maiden special weight over the main track. Breaking from the inside post, Kauai Katie was sent to the lead by Rosie Napravnik, setting an initial quarter of 22.29. The bay filly held an approximate one length lead on the field as she entered the far turn with Napravnik sitting like a statue aboard her.

Kauai Katie only lengthened her advantage on the others from then on, posting a half-mile fraction of 45.67. With impressive acceleration, Kauai Katie drew away from the field down the homestretch, displaying a beautiful stride as she left the others struggling to chase after her. Napravnik reminded her to keep running, but no horse was gaining ground on the filly. With ease, Kauai Katie captured victory in her debut by twelve lengths in an impressive final time of 1:03.66 – just 0.7 seconds slower than My Miss Aurelia last year.

This filly is something special and certainly has a bright future ahead of her. With an impressive pedigree and even more impressive brilliance on race day, Kauai Katie certainly appears to be a superstar in the making. 

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