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.

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“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.