- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Kauai Katie tops Forward Gal
In addition to having champion Shanghai Bobby in Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull, trainer Todd Pletcher will also have the prohibitive favorite in the Grade 2, $200,000 Forward Gal when he saddles Kauai Katie in the seven-furlong test for three-year-old fillies.
Kauai Katie has been virtually untouchable in four career outings around one turn. Following a 12-length romp in her debut at Saratoga, the Malibu Moon filly went on to register a 2 3/4-length decision in the Grade 2 Adirondack and a more emphatic 7 1/2-length score in the Grade 2 Matron.
A tiring fourth in her lone route try, in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Kauai Katie was the first graded stakes winner of the new year when taking the Grade 3 Old Hat on New Year's Day at Gulfstream by eight lengths.
Five fillies will oppose Kauai Katie in the Forward Gal including My Happy Face, a game winner of the Grade 3 Tempted in her juvenile finale, nearly upset the Pletcher-trained Dreaming of Julia in the Grade 1 Frizette two back.
Spring Venture, a Sovereign Award finalist for Canada's champion juvenile filly, won her first three outings including the Grade 2 Natalma on turf and the Grade 3 Mazarine on Polytrack. But the Mark Casse trainee failed to fire in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf after breaking tardily and racing wide throughout the one-mile test. The Forward Gal will mark her debut on dirt.
Fusaichiswonderful arrives on the mainland United States having run out of competition in Puerto Rico. Now trained by Pletcher, the chestnut won all five of her starts on the island by an average margin of more than seven lengths. Four of her wins were in stakes, two of which were against males.
Outsiders Ashlee's Princess and Pow Wow Wow complete the field.