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Zipse At The Track

Kauai Katie should be tested in the Acorn

When thinking about the most impressive horses so far of 2013, the name Kauai Katie might not be one of the first to come to mind. Perhaps it should. Not exactly running in one of the glamour divisions of thoroughbred racing, Kauai Katie has seamlessly carried on the recent superior work done by Groupie Doll domestically, and Black Caviar internationally, to give us another example of excellence in the field of female sprinting. 3-for-3 this year, the daughter of Malibu Moon has been nothing short of dominant in her sophomore season. On Monday, the Stonestreet color bearer will try to continue that kind of form in Belmont Park’s Grade 1 Acorn Stakes.

Kauai Katie’s only lifetime loss came in her sole attempt at two-turns when she ventured west for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall. Her fourth place finish that day may have been a bit of a disappointment, but considering the top three were Beholder, Executiveprivilege, and Dreaming of Julia, the performance, in only her fourth lifetime start, was nothing of which to be ashamed. Eschewing the allure of the Kentucky Oaks trail, and back to sprinting this year, the Todd Pletcher trainee has moved to the number one spot in her discipline with a bullet.  Domination of competition is nothing new to Kauai Katie, though. A quick review of her lifetime past performances, other than the lone distance attempt, reveals perfection.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Making that perfect six-for-six record all the more impressive, and likely striking serious fear into her Acorn competition, is Kauai Katie’s winning margin in each race. Victorious by 12, 2 ¾, 7 ½, 8, 5 ½, 3 ¼ lengths respectively, adds up to the impressive total of 39 lengths, or put another way, Kauai Katie has won each of her sprint races by an average margin of 6 ½ lengths. As far as one-turn racing goes, we do not yet know just how good this filly may be. How could we? She’s never been tested. That test may come on Monday.

While the historic Acorn Stakes is still a one-turn race, at one-mile, it represents a distance farther than she has ever won at before. For top sprinters, like Kauai Katie, the flat mile distance can often be the toughest. Going as fast as you can for a full mile has proved to be too much for many a heavily favored sprint specialist. 

If the elongated sprint distance of the Acorn does prove to be a thorn in the side of Kauai Katie, Bob Baffert’s Midnight Lucky will likely be the one to benefit. A smashing winner of her first two starts, including the Sunland Park Oaks, the daughter of Midnight Lute was thrown right into the frying pan on the first Friday in May. Considered a big threat in the Kentucky Oaks, despite coming in with only two lifetime starts, the loaded race proved a little too much for the talented gray filly. She did set all the pace, but had little answer for the top ones by the time they hit the lane. Still, much as was said for Kauai Katie’s Breeders’ Cup, her fifth place finish takes little away from my belief in her talent. 

With enough natural speed to stay with Kauai Katie from the get go, Midnight Lucky represents the toughest test for the favorite in her one-turn career. If Kauai Katie can pass this big test, only a fall meeting with a returning Groupie Doll stands in her way of becoming a true superstar.
 

 

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Older Comments about Kauai Katie should be tested in the Acorn...

sorry, I meant 8f>x
KK sticks to 7<
I thought Cue the Moon was going to get 2nd in upper stretch. Congrats yuki. Hopefully the beginning of a profitable trend for u
Obvious trifecta but still doing my happy dance! My first tri ever!
I expect CH to rebound after that poor showing in the Oaks
Adding Close Hatches to complete trifecta. Not rocket science.
Sticking with ML and KK.
I think she's overrate.
Midnight Lucky; Cue the Moon; Close Hatches; Kauai Katie
Close Hatches, Midnight Lucky, KK
i don't think Katie will have a problem.
Midnight Lucky for sure.
I am looking forward to seeing the Stonestreet star at Belmont on Monday. Home track advantage to Katie.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.