ADIRONDACK STAKES | PURSE: $$196,000 | 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 2 | 6 1/2 FURLONGS
Stonestreet Stables LLC's Kauai Katie wired her foes in the Grade 2, $196,000 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga Sunday, taking it by 2 3/4 lengths as the 2-5 favorite. Guided by Rosie Napravnik, the Todd Pletcher trainee recorded a time of 1:16 4/5 in the 6 1/2-furlong, fast-track contest, making her a perfect two-for-two after a 12-length romp in her maiden debut on July 20, also at Saratoga.
"She's a very talented filly," Napravnik said. "From the gate, I was riding with a lot of confidence. I knew I had a lot of horse underneath me. We were just able to wait. The 6 1/2 [furlongs] is a pretty big step from 5 1/2 [furlongs] for these babies. She just powered down the lane and she wasn't at the bottom. Not that I didn't have to ask her, I did ride her down the lane.
"She was obviously the best here today. At six [furlongs], I could feel them coming, but they weren't going to get us today."
The daughter of Malibu Moon jumped out to the lead early and never looked back, hitting the opening quarter in :21 4/5 and the half in :44 4/5. She returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10 for the score.
"Talking about strategy from an inside post with a fast filly and a couple of fast ones outside, we don't want to take away what's natural to her," Pletcher said. "When you go [:21 4/5], :44 and change, you always worry how much they'll have in the tank coming back on short rest and going from 5 1/2 [furlongs] to 6 1/2 [furlongs], but I thought she did it well."
Near 7-1 fourth choice Salamera finished second with Fully Living third. Cayllano and Vitameta completed the order of under the wire, and Sweet Shirley Mae was scratched.
"This is absolutely wonderful," said Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Stables. "And that Katie (the late Jess Jackson's daughter) got to watch her namesake run and win is very special. She was a beautiful filly at the sale. We have her full sister, who's super fast in the morning, but hates to race. We knew she was from a very fast family."
While the Adirondack victory made Stonestreet Stables a perfect six-for-six at the Spa this summer, it was just the first win in the last 48 tries for Napravnik.
"It's always discouraging," Napravnik admitted. "Especially when people make a comment about it. Nobody who's in a slump doesn't forget how to do their job. We don't forget how to do our jobs. There's bad luck involved; there's good luck involved. We lost a couple of bobs the other day. I had an unlucky trip. It happens. It's all about keeping a positive attitude. I was really banking on Sunday to come."
Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm LLC, Kauai Katie is out of the stakes-winning More Than Ready mare More Than Pretty. Her second dam is Pretty Livia, who also produced stakes heroine Ingrid the Gambler. This is also the female family of Grade 3 winner Cimarron Secret and Grade 1-placed multiple stakes victress Cojinx.
"She seemed like a very talented filly to me just from breezing her," Napravnik said. "Obviously, she exceeded everybody's expectations her first time out. She really backed it up with today's performance. The sky is the limit for her. Hopefully, she'll stay healthy, I'll stay healthy, and we can go on with the rest of the year with the good races coming up."
Undefeated through two starts, Kauai Katie boosted her career earnings to $168,000.