07/25/2013 1:41PM

Saratoga: Outside post, distance pluses for Kauai Katie in Prioress

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Back at Saratoga, back at six furlongs, and drawn sweetly on the outside, Kauai Katie looks perfectly set up to earn her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Prioress Stakes.

Kauai Katie, a daughter of Malibu Moon owned by Stonestreet Stables, is 6 for 6 in races run at seven furlongs or shorter. That includes victories in the Matron at 2 and the Old Hat at 3 – both at six furlongs – as well as the Grade 2 Adirondack here last year at 6 1/2 furlongs. Kauai Katie also won a maiden race at Saratoga last summer.

The only two times she ran in a Grade 1, Kauai Katie finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, a two-turn race at Santa Anita, and third in the Acorn, a one-turn mile at Belmont in which she stumbled slightly breaking from the rail.

Saturday, Kauai Katie drew the outside post in a seven-horse field that is likely to scratch down to five or six. Trainer Jason Servis said he will likely scratch Ju Ju Eyeballs, who won the Just Smashing Stakes last Sunday at Monmouth.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he feels Kauai Katie’s post draw is a “huge advantage” for a filly who has speed, but who can sit just off the pace.

“To have drawn the seven post in a seven-horse field, that’s exactly where you’d choose to be,” Pletcher said. “She has speed, she’s also rateable, tractable. As you’d expect in a Grade 1 six-furlong race, there’s a lot of speed in there. Hopefully, we can sit in the garden spot and have something left for the stretch.”

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John Velazquez will ride Kauai Katie, the co-highweight at 122 pounds.

So Many Ways is the other filly weighted at 122 pounds. Like Kauai Katie, So Many Ways went 2 for 2 at Saratoga last summer, including victories in the Grade 3 Schuylerville and Grade 1 Spinaway.

So Many Ways, owned by Maggi Moss, is 4 for 5 in one-turn races. She is dropping back to six furlongs after finishing third in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at 1 1/16 miles last out.

Tom Amoss, who took over the training of So Many Ways in April, said he is hoping for a pace battle up front.

“Ideally, we’d like some speed in this race,” Amoss said. “I don’t look at us as a horse that’s going to be prompting the pace by any means.”

Wildcat Lily ships in from Florida coming off consecutive stakes victories, including a neck score in the Grade 3 Azalea at Calder on July 6. A daughter of D’wildcat, Wildcat Lily will be making her 12th start of the year.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

“My filly is doing very wel. She improves every single day, every single race. I expect a very good effort,” said trainer Manny Azpurua, who has Javier Castellano to ride.

Irish Lute, third to So Many Ways in the Grade 3 Eight Belles at Churchill; Lighthouse Bay, winner of the Jostle Stakes at Parx Racing; and Little Rocket, a New York-bred daughter of Yes It’s True, complete the field.

The Prioress runs as race 5 on Saratoga’s 11-race card.

Greg More than 1 year ago
K squared is head an shoulders above these.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
And folks complain about how bad Cali stakes are. How is this race still a grade 1? Short fields and watered down stakes races are a national problem, and not limited to a particular region.
Jeremy Denierio More than 1 year ago
What other 3 year old filly would you have here? get a clue...
Jordan More than 1 year ago
The sprint division is a secondary division in North American racing(2nd to mile-classic distance races that have higher purses) with limited grade 1 opportunities. The female sprint divsion is a sub-category of that. The 3 year old filly sprint division is a sub-category of that sub-category. The 3 year old filly sprint division already has a grade 1 at Saratoga with the Test. At 7 furlongs, the Test typically draws not just the best 3 year old filly sprinters, but it also gets milers and even fillies that ran in the Kentucky Oaks and other route stakes. Do we really need 2 grade 1 races at Saratoga for 3 year old filly sprinters? Do BOTH races deserve to be grade 1s? Or should the Prioress be recognized as a prep or lead-in to the traditionally more important Test, and thus be downgraded to a grade 2? The last 2 years, the Prioress drew 6 horse fields that combined had no grade 1 wins going in. And the winner, who became the only grade1 winner, has not won another grade 1 besides the Prioress. The 2010 Prioress drew a 5 horse field, including 2-time grade 1 winner Champagne d' Oro and the winner, Franny Freud, whose Prioress victroy was her only grade 1. One has to go back to 2008 to to find a Prioress winner who won another grade 1 at any point during her career. And since 2001, there has only been ONE Prioress field that had more than 2 grade 1 winners. And I'm not talking about fillies that went into the Prioress with a grade 1; instead, I'm talking about winning a grade 1 at any point during the filly's career. To a large extent, the Prioress is living off Indian Blessing's 2008 win. Recently the Prioress has been drawing short fields, and producing winners that have not won a grade 1 going in and don't win another grade 1 besides the Prioress. And only once for more than a decade did the Prioress feature more than two entrants who at any point of their careers captured a grade 1. I think I've established that I have a clue on this subject. And for the record, Beholder, Midnight Lucky, and even Doinghardtimeagain would have been nice additions to this year's field; maybe had Midnight Lucky not suffered a slight injury this field would have better resembled a true grade 1 field.
Jeremy Denierio More than 1 year ago
Beholder is going to stay out west where the path is easy. Talk to me about the field she runs against next. Remove I'll have another from his fluke, and your argument fits the Santa Anita Derby. Resting on Sunday Silence in 1989 as a Derby prep race. All fields are watered down, this is still a valid grade 1 event.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
So ignorant you are. 2 of the last 3 CHAMPION 3 year olds ran in the Santa Anita Derby, Lookin at Lucky and I'll Have Another. How is a horse that wins the Derby and Preakness a fluke? Since 1989, have you heard of Point Given, Charismatic, Real Quiet, Silver Charm, Timber Country, Artax, Tabasco Cat, AP Indy, Best Pal, Bertrando, Brocco, Sharp Cat, Eliza, Giacomo? ALL of these horse ran in the Santa Anita Derby. I brought FACTS to show you how the Prioress is weak. You brought no facts about the Santa Anita Derby. And my facts concerning the SA Derby just destroyed your argument. You got ONE thing right. There are alot of watered down fields. And the Prioress is almost always one of the most watered down grade 1s. FACTS.
Benjamin Gay More than 1 year ago
Jordan, Groupie Doll is one of the best horses in this country. Do you disagree?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
What does Groupie Doll have to do with the Prioress? Groupie Doll is winning sprints open to fillies and mares of all ages. That is a sub-category of a sub-category. The Prioress is a sub-category of a sub-category of a sub-category. Prioress for 3 year old female sprinters.
Perl More than 1 year ago
I am not going to get into a debate about whether the Prioress should be a G1, but Jordan you are underestimating the quality of this field. Take a closer look and you will see there are a number of excellent fillies in this race. Kauai Kate is 6-6 at less than 1m. In her last race she had a terrible trip at a distance far beyond her liking and she still hit the board. Yet this race will hardly be a walk in the park for her, as she faces tough speed to her inside and some late danger as well. You always seem like you know what you're talking about but you may have chosen a different east coast G1 to pick on.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
You still want to support the Prioress after watching it? Just kidding. My point is not that it is a bad race. It's a fine race. But it's not a grade 1. It just isn't. The Test, now there's a true grade 1. My argument wasn't just restricted to the quality of this year's field. I looked at almost 10 years of fields. Also key to my argument is that a race for 3 year old filly sprinters is a sub-category of a sub-category, of a sub-category. And finally, does there need to be two grade 1 races for 3 year old filly sprinters at the SAME track a month apart?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I just realized that you might not have read my reply to Jeremy from 2 days ago. My apologies if you hadn't. Please, go read that reply and you will see that my initial comment was more than a knee-jerk reaction to this year's field.
MT_Black More than 1 year ago
gotta run em dude. cant just lay em off forever. this is actually a pretty competitive race. Katie will get a little more comp than she is used to. I bet you won't hit it. If you do snap a pic of your ticket and we can compare @mt_black on twitter. #startatwitterwar
Jordan More than 1 year ago
What does betting the race have anything to do with my argument? And why did you assume that I thought the field was weak because Katie was going to win so easy. My point was precisely that the field had to be weak if Katie was such a favorite. The Acorn showed Katie's true colors. Katie is now 0 for 3 in grade 1s, 2 of those around one turn, and SHE was the 2-5 choice? What does that say about the rest of the field? The field was weak not because Katie had no competition. I never wrote that. Looking at the Prioress field with more information, we found out Katie really isn't an elite horse. So, you can't claim the field had any stars. And the winner, Lighthouse Bay, had not won a graded stakes of any kind going into the Prioress. Maybe the winner and the other horses go on and do some good things. But my argument didn't provide facts from just this year's field. I looked back over a decade of Prioress fields. This year's field just happened to be a fairly good representation of Prioress fields over the last decade. But make no mistake, my argument went well beyond a look at this year's field. I brought FACTS about a decade of Prioress fields. What do you have to say about that?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I just realized that you might not have read my reply to Jeremy from 2 days ago. My apologies if you hadn't. Please, go read that reply and you will see that my initial comment was more than a knee-jerk reaction to this year's field.