Malibu Moon's 3-year-old filly Kauai Katie rolled to an eight-length win in Saturday’s $100,000 Old Hat S. (G3), a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park. The filly was bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm LLC.
Kauai Katie was one of six graded stakes winners in 2012 sired by Malibu Moon, who finished last year ranked sixth on the North American General Sire list. His progeny earned $8,181,284, accounting for wins in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes S. (Eden's Moon), Grade 2 Matron S. and Grade 2 Adirondack S. (Kauai Katie), and Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby (Prospective).
Kauai Katie broke alertly from her No. 1 post position as Cor Cor, the 3-1 second choice, sprinted clear to quickly open up a couple of lengths on the favorite. Cor Cor set swift fractions (:22.22 and :44.99) for the first half mile as Velazquez slipped Kauai Katie off the rail for a clear run at the leader leaving the backstretch. Kauai Katie overpowered her rivals in the lane to get the six furlongs in 1:09.66 under a hand ride by jockey John Velazquez.
“I’m not surprised at all. She’s a very good filly,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Honestly, I don’t think she really handled the track that day (when she was fourth in the G1 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies), because as fast as she is, she was never pulling herself along. She’s probably better sprinting, but I’m not positive she liked the track that day.”
"I wasn’t going to let Cor Cor get away too easily, so I put some pressure on her,” Velazquez added. “When I got to her, Katie pulled away from them, and she made it easy for me.”
The winner, a $490,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale at Palm Meadows last March, earned $60,000 for her fourth victory in five starts, boosting her career bankroll to $468,000.
Pletcher, who conditions the filly for owner Stonestreet Stable LLC, said the Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream on Jan. 26 is likely to be the next goal for Kauai Katie.