Heavily favored Kauai
led from start to finish for a seemingly effortless 3 ¼-length
victory in Sunday’s $75,000 Road Princess overnight stakes, the closing
day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Ridden by Javier
Castellano, the 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly 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.
“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 for a $2 win bet to her
backers in the closing day crowd of 4,813. The Stonestreet Stables
color-bearer has now won six of her seven career starts
including four graded stakes, and, with the winner’s purse of $45,000, has earned $633,000.
Her next start, said McCarthy, likely will be the Grade 1 Acorn at
Park on Memorial Day, May 27.
“I’d have to think this will [set her up for the Acorn],” he said. “That’s been the plan all along.”
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 earned his
second consecutive title at the month-long
meet. Drawing Away Stable and Darley Stable were tied for leading owner
with five wins each.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.,
edged his brother, Jose, 79 victories to 76, during the Big A’s
inner-track meet, which ran from December 12 through March 23, with Rudy
Rodriguez topping the trainer standings with 41
winners. Drawing Away Stable was the leading owner with 16 victories.
Racing moves to
Belmont Park beginning Friday, April 26, with Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000
Westchester the first of 26 graded stakes offered during the 56-day meet that runs through July 14.