Stonestreet Stables' Kauai Katie has not run at Saratoga Race Course since winning the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) as a 2-year-old—but she's 2-for-2 at the upstate oval, having broken her maiden at first asking there by 12 lengths.
On July 27 the Malibu Moon filly gets a chance to return to the winner's circle at the Spa, facing co-highweight So Many Ways among seven sophomore fillies entered in the $300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I).
Kauai Katie carries 122 pounds off a third last time out in the May 27 Acorn Stakes (gr. I). She stumbled at the start of the one-mile Belmont Park event and was seven lengths behind winner Midnight Lucky, suffering only her second defeat in eight starts.
Prior to the Acorn, Kauai Katie handily won the April 21 Road Princess Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, that after a 5 1/2-length victory for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Jan. 26 Forward Gal (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park. She is also the winner of the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) and the Matron (gr. II), her only other loss coming with a fourth in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, who has been aboard for two of her six victories, gets the mount from the outside.
So Many Ways comes off a third-place finish in graded company as well, hers in the June 29 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) for owner Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss. Like Kauai Katie, the Sightseeing filly is 2-for-2 at Saratoga.
After breaking her maiden by eight lengths last June at Parx Racing, So Many Ways won the July 20 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) and came back to take the Sept. 2 Spinaway (gr. I) in solid fashion. Then trained by Anthony Dutrow, she was off from September until March 1, when she ran third in the Primal Force overnight stakes at Gulfstream. After a fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), Moss sent the filly to Amoss, who did not race her again until the May 3 Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. She won that seven-furlong test by half a length before stretching out to 1 1/16 miles again in the Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows. Jockey Joel Rosario, aboard for the first time, will ride So Many Ways from post 5.
Mr. Amore Stable's Ju Ju Eyeballs streaks in on quite a roll for trainer Jason Servis, having won her past five races at Monmouth Park and Gulfstream. But the step up in company will prove a tough one for the Maryland-bred daughter of Gators N Bears, who wheels around from taking the $60,000 Just Smashing Stakes going six furlongs by 5 1/4 lengths at Monmouth on July 21 last time out. Ju Ju Eyeballs has not lost a race since Jan. 13 and has steadily advanced through her conditions, typically coming with a strong late run. This is her graded stakes debut.
Donarra Thoroughbreds' Irish Lute won a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer at Churchill by a neck June 21; trainer Dallas Stewart saddled her to a third in the Eight Belles two starts back.
Barry Schwartz's Little Rocket, second by a head in a 6 1/2-furlong July 3 optional claimer at Belmont Park in her most recent start, completes the field. She is trained by Mike Hushion.
$300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I, Race 5, approximate post 3:03 p.m. EDT), 3YO fillies, six furlongs (dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Irish Lute (FL), R. Albarado, 116, D Stewart
2. Wildcat Lily (FL), J. Castellano, 120, M J Azpurua
3. Ju Ju Eyeballs (MD), J. Lezcano, 118, J Servis
4. Lighthouse Bay (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., 118, G Weaver
5. So Many Ways (PA), J. Rosario, 122, T M Amoss
6. Little Rocket (NY), I. Ortiz, Jr., 116, M E Hushion
7. Kauai Katie (KY), J.R. Velazquez, 122, T A Pletcher