Overwhelmingly favored Kauai Katie led from start to finish for a seemingly effortless 3 1/4-length victory in the $71,250 Road Princess (VIDEO) overnight stakes, the closing day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack April 21.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, the 3-year-old Malibu Moon miss took the lead right out of the starting gate, setting fractions of 24.08 and 47.76 seconds with Kelli Got Frosty in close pursuit. Heading into the lane, Kauai Katie brushed off her challenger and cruised to the finish line under a hand ride, completing the seven furlongs in 1:23.32.
Her next start is likely going to be the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Memorial Day, May 27.
"I'd say that was pretty much textbook right there," said Michael McCarthy, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. "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."
Sent off at 1-20 in the field of four, Kauai Katie returned $2.10. The Stonestreet Stables color-bearer has now won six of her seven career starts including four graded stakes while earning $633,000. Her only loss came in a fourth-place finish in last fall's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), her lone try around two turns.
"I'd have to think this will (set her up for the Acorn)," he said. "That's been the plan all along."
Spendthrift Farm bred the winning bay filly who is out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Pretty.
Kelli Got Frosty held for second, followed by Secret Union and Kimono. Cubicle Queen was scratched.
Taking home titles for the Aqueduct spring meet were trainer David Jacobson, who saddled 12 winners, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez, who with 24 victories has now earned consecutive titles at the month-long meet. Drawing Away Stable and Darley Stable were tied for leading owner with five wins each.
Racing moves to Belmont Park beginning Friday, April 26, for a 56-day meet that runs through July 14.