HALLANDALE BEACH, FL -- Stonestreet Stables' Katie's Kiss earned her first stakes victory Sunday, edging graded stakes-placed Huasca by a half length in the $75,000 Summer Winds at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Kantharos, who had pressed and set the pace before settling for second money in a 7 1/2-furlong overnight handicap July 4, broke last in a field of 10 3-year-old fillies in Sunday's five-furlong turf sprint and was allowed to settle behind the early pace before making a five-wide move and kicking into gear in the stretch.
The David Fawkes-trained filly was sent to post under jockey Tyler Gaffalione as a slight 9-5 favorite over the Efren Loza Jr.-trained Huasca, who was also bet down to 9-5 in her turf debut after finishing second in the Azalea (G3) over the main track last time out.
After breaking from the No. 10 post under Eddie Castro, Huasca chased the early pace while four-wide on the backstretch and around the turn. As the daughter of Tiz Wonderful moved to the lead at the top of the stretch, Katie's Kiss loomed boldly after making her five-wide move on the turn. Huasca continued on gamely to the wire but was unable to hold off Katie's Kiss, who completed five furlongs in 59.68 seconds.
The winner had finished third in her previous two stakes appearances, the Desert Vixen Division of the Florida Sire Stakes last August and the Tiger Lily two starts back.
"She's grown. She's gotten better all the time. She's gotten smarter about her training," Fawkes said. "It's all upside with her."
Summer Rae, who set the pace under Jonathan Gonzales, held third, four lengths behind Huasca and 1 1/4 lengths in front of Standard Deal.
Following the Summer Winds, Jacks or Better Farm's Abercorn ($20.80) finished full of run to win by 3 1/2 lengths in the sixth race, a Lasix-free six-furlong maiden race for 2-year-olds.
The Stanley Gold-trained son of Brooks 'n Down is a half brother to Argentine Tango, a South Florida stakes performer who won more than $200,000 during his career.