I’m not sure if they laugh alike, walk alike, or sometimes even talk alike, but in Winding Way and Kauai Katie, you have two sensational sisters who certainly seem to run alike. By Malibu Moon, out of the More Than Ready mare, More Than Pretty, both young fillies have started their careers in high style, and have fans on both coasts buzzing. The older of the pair is Winding Way. Owned by her breeder, Spendthrift Farm, and trained by Carla Gaines, the three-year-old bay calls California home. She did not begin her career until June of this year but went to quick work in her first two starts. A 4 ¾ length romp in a maiden race at Hollywood Park proceeded an even easier score by 7 ¼ lengths in a Del Mar optional claimer on July 21. In each race, she went right to the lead and never looked back. Her third race would prove different in almost every way, though. Sunday’s featured $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, a 6 ½ furlong sprint for older fillies and mares at Del Mar, represented her first attempt in stakes racing. Despite being the only three-year-old in the field, she was sent as the 7-5 favorite due to the excellent beginning of her career. Most people who backed her though did not feel so good about their wagers a few yards out of the starting gate.
Breaking poorly, Winding Way spotted the field several lengths at the start, meaning she was at the opposite end of things from what she had been accustomed to. The setback in the grade 3 only would give her the chance to showcase her big talent and prove to be her most impressive race, though. Relaxed at the back of the pack under Rafael Bejarano, Winding Way was content to bide her time before uncorking a ferocious rally on the far outside to run past pacesetting Sugarinthemorning in the final twenty yards. It was a memorable win, and one that you would not expect from such an inexperienced and speedy filly. There is not telling how good she may be.
Meanwhile, about 3,000 miles away, her little sister, Kauai Katie, is one of three juvenile fillies of Stonestreet Stables that people cannot seem to stop talking about. But unlike Teen Pauline and Dreaming of Julia, Katie is already a graded stakes winner. That distinction came at Saratoga just one week before her full sister would do the same at Del Mar. The victory in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes came as no surprise to the fans who made her an overwhelming favorite in the field of five.
Sent off at odds of 2-5 after a scintillating debut score in which she banged her drum to the tune of a 12 length maiden score at the Spa, Kauai Katie wasted no time in taking it to her foes for trainer Todd Pletcher. She broke in third but quickly grabbed the lead in the 6 ½-furlong affair. Setting down blistering fractions, she was 1 ½ lengths ahead after an opening quarter-mile in 21.77 seconds, and dispatched advances on her lead through a half in 44.93. Cruising easily through the Saratoga stretch under Rosie Napravnik she hit the wire a 2 ¾-length winner in the solid time of 16.81. Much like her big sister, she is undefeated, and there really is no telling how good she may be.
While neither of the sensational sisters have been farther than 6 ½ furlongs, it is not hard to imagine them stretching out. Their shared pedigree points not only to being able to handle greater distances, but also the ability to handle a variety of surfaces. Look out world, these sisters mean business!
Photo courtesy of Benoit Photos