Kauai Katie Wins Third Straight in Road Princess on Closing Day at Aqueduct
By Jenny Kellner | 04/21/2013 05:35 PM ET
Heavily favored Kauai Katie led from start to finish for a seemingly effortless 3 ¼-length victory in Sunday’s $75,000 Road Princess overnight stakes, the closing day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, the 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly took the lead right out of the starting gate, setting fractions of 24.08 and 47.76 seconds with Kelli Got Frosty in close pursuit. Heading into the lane, Kauai Katie brushed off her challenger and cruised to the finish line under a hand ride, completing the seven furlongs in 1:23.32.
“I’d say that was pretty much textbook right there,” said Michael McCarthy, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “The plan was to go ahead and let her run away from there and finish up nicely. It seemed she controlled the race from the start, set some nice fractions, didn’t overdo it, got the job done.”
Sent off at 1-20 in the field of four, Kauai Katie returned $2.10 for a $2 win bet to her backers in the closing day crowd of 4,813. The Stonestreet Stables color-bearer has now won six of her seven career starts including four graded stakes, and, with the winner’s purse of $45,000, has earned $633,000.
Her next start, said McCarthy, likely will be the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont Park on Memorial Day, May 27.
“I’d have to think this will [set her up for the Acorn],” he said. “That’s been the plan all along.”
Kelli Got Frosty held for second, followed by Secret Union and Kimono. Cubicle Queen was scratched.
Taking home titles for the Aqueduct spring meet were trainer David Jacobson, who saddled 12 winners, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez, who with 24 victories earned his second consecutive title at the month-long meet. Drawing Away Stable and Darley Stable were tied for leading owner with five wins each.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., edged his brother, Jose, 79 victories to 76, during the Big A’s inner-track meet, which ran from December 12 through March 23, with Rudy Rodriguez topping the trainer standings with 41 winners. Drawing Away Stable was the leading owner with 16 victories.
Racing moves to Belmont Park beginning Friday, April 26, with Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Westchester the first of 26 graded stakes offered during the 56-day meet that runs through July 14.