Kauai Katie, a 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, cruised to her sixth win in seven career outings on Sunday with a stylish 3 1/4-length victory in $75,000 Road Princess S., the feature race on the closing day of the Aqueduct meet.
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Kauai Katie is half of a powerful one-two punch in the 3-year-old divisions by her sire. Malibu Moon's leading earner of 2013 is Orb, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) and Fountain of Youth S. (G2) who is one of the favorites for the May 4 Kentucky Derby (G1). With nearly $2.9 million in progeny earnings, Malibu Moon is currently fifth on this year's General Sire list.
Kauai Katie ran like prohibitive 1-20 favorite she was in the Road Princess, going to the front a few strides after the start. After getting the half-mile in :47.76 seconds with a 1 1/2-length lead, Kelli Got Frosty tried to mount a challenge, but Javier Castellano shook up Kauai Katie a bit, and she sprinted away easily. Castellano geared down in the final furlong to get the seven panels in 1:23.32.
"I'd say that was pretty much textbook right there," said Todd Pletcher's assistant trainer Mike McCarthy. "The plan was to go ahead and let her run away from there and finish up nicely. It seemed she controlled the race from the start, set some nice fractions, didn't overdo it, got the job done."
"She was really the best filly in the field, no question about it,” added Castellano. “She did everything easy today and it was basically just a pretty good work. She was sharp out of the gate and able to do whatever she wanted to do today. I give all the credit to Todd Pletcher; I was only the pilot."
Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Kauai Katie is undefeated three starts in 2013, with dominating wins in the Forward Gal S. (G2) and Old Hat S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Consigned by Eddie Woods at the Fasig-Tipton Florida March sale of 2-year-olds in training, Kauai Katie brought a winning bid of $490,000 by Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables LLC.
With Sunday's win, Kauai Katie upped her lifetime earnings to $633,000.
"I'd have to think this will set her up for the Acorn (Grade 1, May 27 at Belmont Park)," McCarthy said. "That's been the plan all along."