01/19/2013 1:51PM

Gulfstream Park: Kadaya should relish longer distance of Monday turf feature


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – When it comes to his promising turf mare Kadaya, trainer Bob Hess Jr. believes the farther she goes, the better she will get. He will have an opportunity to test that theory Monday when the Irish-bred Kadaya stretches out to 1 3/8 miles to take on eight other fillies and mares in the $57,500 feature on a special 10-race holiday program at Gulfstream Park.

Kadaya was an impressive winner of her U.S. debut, rallying from the rear of the pack and circling the field en route to a three-quarter-length decision going 1 1/16 miles Dec. 8. The victory was the second in a row for the 5-year-old Kadaya, who won her maiden going 11 furlongs in France on Oct. 23.

“She really exceeded my expectations in her first race here, because she did it going a mile and one-sixteenth,” Hess said. “And I really think distance is in her genetics and that she really wants to go further.”

Kadaya was entered to go 1 1/16 miles on the grass here Jan. 13, but Hess was compelled to scratch her the morning of the race.

“She came into heat the day we entered for that race,” Hess explained. “We thought we could take care of it on time, but she still had a problem race day, so I took her out. It was as simple as that.”

Hess said his two main concerns in Monday’s second-level optional $62,500 claimer are the post position, with such a short run to the first turn, and the fact some European horses tend to regress a bit in their second U.S. starts.

“I always worry about second-time Euros. Sometimes the first race will wake them up too much and they won’t relax the second time,” Hess said. “That’s why we gave her some extra time, and so far, she seems to be calm and relaxed just like last time. The slow works she’s had on dirt are nothing to be concerned about. She’s not a good work horse on the main track, and I expect her to be 10 to 20 percent better for this race than she was for the first one.”

If Kadaya is to keep her U.S. record unblemished, she will likely have to beat another Irish-bred, Janicellaine, who finished second under similar conditions here last time despite an awful trip. Janicellaine broke slow and got hung out wide nearly the entire 1 7/16 miles in her local bow, but still managed to beat all but the late-running Game Fair in a race where all three favorites tripped out poorly.

Janicellaine, who is trained by Roger Attfield for Three Chimneys Racing, was stakes placed on a couple of occasions going 1 1/2 miles last fall when finishing second in Woodbine’s Flaming Page and third in Keeneland’s Dowager.

Twirl, another of the European imports in the field, will hope to improve on a disappointing U.S. bow when she finished seventh as the 8-5 favorite in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 27. Twirl, who raced in a pair of Group 1 races, including the Irish Oaks while stabled with Aidan O’Brien at 3, will race on Lasix for the first time Monday.