Kauai Katie was third in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) May 27 at Belmont behind Midnight Lucky and Close Hatches, the latter returning to win the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I). Kauai Katie opened her 2013 campaign with three straight stakes victories: the Old Hat (gr. III) and Forward Gal (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, and the Road Princess at Aqueduct Racetrack, by a combined margin of 16 3/4 lengths.
In the Acorn, the Malibu Moon filly stumbled at the start and showed some late kick to finish seven lengths behind the runaway winner.
"I didn't think she ran badly in the Acorn from the rail," said Pletcher of Kauai Katie, who will be coupled with grade I-placed Teen Pauline in the wagering. "She was never in a great position and was getting a lot of dirt in her face, and she'd never really been in that situation. I thought she ran hard; Midnight Lucky was just too good on the day."
Joining the Stonestreet Farm duo for Pletcher will be Aquino Stable's Fusaichiswonderful, who finished second by a half-length to So Many Ways after an eventful journey in the Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) May 3 at Churchill Downs.
"She was a little unlucky with the draw (post position 2) and she was one of the few horses in the race with an inside draw who performed well," said Pletcher. "She was unlucky not to win, but ran a courageous race."
Making her graded stakes debut will be I'm Mom's Favorite, a winner of three of her four 2013 starts. The Tony Dutrow trainee most recently was a come-from-behind nose winner of the Miss Preakness Stakes May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
"Her last race was not at all what I expected. I thought she would break and be close to the leaders, instead she was far back and came on," said Dutrow, who trains the Indian Charlie filly for Cash is King Stable. "Saturday, I would expect she would be a bit off the pace. It'd be fantastic is she was able to win or place in a graded stakes."
$150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III, race 9, approximate post time 5:17 p.m. EDT), 3YO Fillies, six furlongs
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML odds
1. Fusaichiswonderful (KY), J. R. Castellano, 120, T. A. Pletcher, 5-2
2. Native One (KY), I. Ortiz, Jr., 116, C. Clement, 12-1
3. a-Teen Pauline (KY), J. Alvarado, 116, T. A. Pletcher, 1-1
4. Baby J (KY), J. Rosario, 116, P. L. Reynolds, 15-1
5. Bridgehampton (KY), J. Lezcano, 116, M. E. Hushion, 15-1
6. I'm Mom's Favorite (KY), C. H. Velasquez, 120, A. W. Dutrow, 4-1
7. Lighthouse Bay (KY), K. Carmouche, 120, G. Weaver, 12-1
8. a-Kauai Katie (KY), J. R. Velazquez, 123, T. A. Pletcher, 1-1
a- coupled entry