Kauai Katie runs away in Matron

Kauai Katie runs away in Matron

Stonestreet Stable's Kauai Katie pulled away from the field with ease in the Grade 2, $196,000 Matron at Belmont. The undefeated filly was sent off as the 1-5 favorite and remained perfect in three starts with her 7 1/2-length victory on Sunday.

The Todd Pletcher trainee prompted eventual second-place finisher Baby J. through an opening quarter in :22 4/5. Then jockey Rosie Napravnik let Kauai Katie go on, and she took command. Already in front by a length when reaching the half-mile mark :46 3/5, Kauai Katie opened up turning for home and ran away from the field. She covered the six furlongs over the fast main track in 1:11 1/5.

"Todd and I talked about (going to the lead) considering our post position (on the outside in post 5) gave us options," Napravnik said. "Katie's always shown that she was ratable, so we figured we'd play the break and if somebody else wanted it they were free to have it, but she was so much the best I just couldn't hold her behind them. We just ended up making the lead early, and she skipped across the ground. She couldn't have done that any easier."

"It was the first time she's been behind someone in the early part of the race," Pletcher said. "Based on the way she's trained, we felt like she would do that and she's done that in the mornings without any issues, but it's always nice to see them adapt to that scenario in the afternoon. She has a tremendous turn of foot. She just quickly put the race away and idled down the last part."

A start in the Breeders' Cup is under consideration for Kauai Katie, possibly in the Juvenile Sprint or the Juvenile Fillies.

"We'll see (about the Breeders' Cup)," Pletcher said. "We'll see how she comes out of it and talk with the connections."

"We're going to plot our strategy," Stonestreet's Barbara Banke said. "We'll hear from Todd maybe tomorrow and see how she's doing. She did this easy. I hope she got something out of it; she was huffing a little bit."

Finishing in third, nine lengths back, was Seasoned Warrior, followed by Unabashed and Doubled to round out the order of finish. Sweet Shirley Mae was scratched.

The two-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon returned $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10 to her backers. After adding another graded stakes win to her resume she increased her lifetime earnings to $288,000 and a career mark that reads 3-3-0-0. Kauai Katie broke her maiden in her debut with a 12-length romp at Saratoga. She followed up that performance with a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Adirondack last time out on August 12.

Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Kauai Katie was first sold for $90,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. She went to her current connections for $490,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Florida two-year-old. She 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 family of Grade 3 winner Cimarron Secret and Grade 1-placed multiple stakes victress Cojinx.

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