Kauai Katie Goes Back to Sprinting in $100,000 Old Hat
Pletcher-Trained Filly to Face Four in Old Hat
For Kauai Katie, sprinting is old hat. So it’s fitting that the speedy daughter of Malibu Moon will return to sprint racing Tuesday in the $100,000 Old Hat (G3) on Gulfstream Park’s stakes-heavy New Year’s Day program.
The Todd Pletcher-trained filly will make her 3-year-old debut Tuesday after suffering her first career defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, in which she faded to fourth in the two-turn 1 1/16-mile stakes at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
"It wasn’t a bad race. It was probably a little farther than she wants to go,” Pletcher said. “She’ll probably be best at sprint distances for now, and this is a good spot to get started.”
Based on her prior starts at sprint distances, Kauai Katie figures to be heavily favored in the Old Hat, a six-furlong sprint carded as the fifth race that drew a field of five 3-year-old fillies.
Prior to her first attempt around two turns, Kauai Katie captured her first three career races by a total of more than 22 lengths. She debuted at Saratoga on July 20 with a front-running 12-length triumph over 5 ½ furlongs despite stumbling at the break from the rail post position. The daughter of Malibu Moon came right back at Saratoga on Aug. 12 to win the 6 ½ -furlong Adirondack (G2) by nearly three lengths under a hand ride.
Kauai Katie put Stonestreet Stables in the Belmont Park winner’s circle on Sept. 30 following a 7 ½ -length victory in the Matron (G2) at six furlongs.
Rosie Napravnik, who has ridden the Kentucky-bred filly in all of her starts, will venture from Fair Grounds for the return mount in the Old Hat.
Kauai Katie drew the No. 1 post position, one stall in the starting gate inside 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 ¼ lengths.
Power Lady was an easy winner in her previous two starts, breaking her maiden at Penn National by nearly 12 lengths on Sept. 13 and scoring by nearly eight lengths in an entry-level allowance at Parx on 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,” said Servis, who saddled Smarty Jones to victories in the 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1). “This will be a good test for my filly to see where she’s at.”
Joe Rocco Jr. has been named to ride Glorilu Stables’ filly for the first time in the Old Hat.
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 winner Scat Daddy fought back in the stretch to capture the $100,000 Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel on Nov. 24. Her victory was her second in four lifetime starts for Joni & Barry Butzow.
Joe Bravo has picked up the mount on She’s All Scat.
Cor Cor will also be seeing 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 Glaken for a debut victory at Keeneland by nearly three lengths for owners Steve Ballou and Harriet Waldron.
Scott Speith, who guided Cor Cor to a half-length score in the Sandpiper, has the return mount.
Pinnacle Racing Stables’ Cupids Messenger rounds out the field. The Bill Kaplan-trained daughter of Gottcha Gold has won one of seven starts. Juan Leyva has been named to ride the Florida-bred.
Brown Enters Three for $75,000 Ginger Brew
For Chad Brown, it looks like there may be strength in numbers for Tuesday’s $75,000 Ginger Brew, carded as the ninth race on an 11-race New Year’s Day program. Brown will have a busy time in the Gulfstream paddock, where he’s scheduled to saddle three horses for the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes that drew a full field of 14 3-year-old fillies.
“All three horses are doing well, all three are evenly matched in my opinion. They’ve all had relatively the same experience,” Brown said. “It’s hard to separate the three of them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if any one of the three won.”
Corporate Culture, Heart of New York and Wave Theory are all scheduled to go to post in the Ginger Brew. Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Corporate Culture broke her maiden at Belmont last time out on Oct. 28 after finishing a fast-closing third in her debut.
Joseph Riccelli’s Heart of New York broke her maiden at first asking at Belmont on Oct. 26 before finishing a troubled second in the $80,000 Lie Low Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 22. Martin Schwartz’s Wave Theory broke her maiden at Aqueduct on Nov. 18 after finishing fifth in the Miss Grillo (G3) over a yielding Belmont course.
“It’s not ideal. But when you get into the winter months, there aren’t as many tracks open, therefore there aren’t many opportunities on turf,” Brown said. “All three horses deserve a shot to be in the race. The way I approach it, if I have a horse who deserves to be in a race, they’re going to be in it. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Javier Castellano has the mount on Corporate Culture; Joe Bravo is named to ride Heart of New York; and Jose Lezcano has the return mount aboard Wave Theory.
Kitten’s Dumplings, a stakes-winning homebred of Ken and Sarah Ramsey, won’t have ideal conditions either in the Ginger Brew, in which she will break from the No. 14 post position.
“That’s not good. There’s nothing to like about it,” trainer Michael Maker said. “If she runs to 100 percent she’s one who could overcome it.”
Kitten’s Dumplings, who is scheduled to be ridden by Joel Rosario, captured the $75,000 La Senorita at Retama Park by three lengths on Nov. 10. Previously, she stumbled at the start to lose all chance in the Alcibiadies (G1) at Keeneland. She broke her maiden at first asking at Saratoga on Aug. 12 before finishing fourth in the Natalma (G2) at Woodbine.
Kitten’s Dumplings is just one of many offspring of Kitten’s Joy in Maker’s stable.
“Keep them coming,” Maker said.
One daughter of Kitten’s Joy would didn’t make it to Maker’s barn is the Ramseys’ homebred Kitten’s Queen, one of two fillies entered in the Ginger Brew by trainer Wayne Catalano.
Kitten’s Queen, who is set to be ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., is coming off a debut victory at Churchill Downs, where she broke from the No. 12 post and closed strongly to win by nearly two lengths.
Catalano will also saddle I’m Already Sexy who will seek her third straight victory after prevailing at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. John Velazquez is slated to ride the daughter of Ready’s Image for the Hit The Board Stables.
Patricia Generazio’s Discreet Marq and MeB Racing Stables and Brooklyn Boys Stable’s Mariel N Kathy figure to attract attention at the mutuel windows. Discreet Marq defeated the Brown-trained Heart of New York in the Lie Low Stakes last time out for trainer James Ryerson. Jane Cibelli, who recently took over the daughter of Discreet Cat’s training, has named Elvis Trujillo to ride.
Mariel N Kathy, who finished third behind Discreet Marq and Heart of New York in the Lie Low, previously won two straight, including a maiden score over Corporate Culture. Trainer Dominick Schettino has named Jose Espinoza to ride the daughter of Corinthian.
Rounding out the more formidable contenders are John Oxley’s Floral Sky and Valor Ladies LLC’s Tuttipaesi. Floral Sky won her only start on turf during her four-race career, winning an entry-level allowance at Woodbine by a length for trainer Mark Casse. The Graham Motion-trained Tuttipaesi will be making her first start in the U.S. after winning three of five starts in Europe. Alan Garcia has the mount on the Irish-bred filly.