It’s still very early in the season for serious juvenile competition, but there is no doubt that one of the most impressive 2-year-old fillies seen to date is Kauai Katie. Successful by 12 lengths on her debut, the Stonestreet Stable color-bearer returned to action at Saratoga in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), and captured the 6 1/2-furlong event by 2 1/2 lengths after setting fractions of :21.77 and :44.93.
Kauai Katie is one of what is becoming a legion of talented fillies for her sire, the A.P. Indy horse Malibu Moon (TrueNicks,SRO), and she has pedigree similarities with a number of her sire’s best offspring. The TrueNicks rated “A” Kauai Katie is out of the stakes-winning More Than Ready(TrueNicks,SRO) daughter More Than Pretty. Her granddam, the Forest Wildcat mare Pretty LIvia, is a half sister to graded scorer Cimarron Secret, and the third dam is Crafty Prospector’s daughter Baby Jinx. Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that since Malibu Moon is out of a mare by Mr. Prospector, and that sire appears in the pedigree of Kauai Katie’s dam through Woodman (broodmare sire of More Than Ready) and Crafty Prospector, Mr. Prospector appears three times in the pedigree of Kauai Katie (3x5x5).
As always with a prepotent name in a pedigree, there are phases that seem to be traveled through with regard to duplications or multiple strains. Usually the phenomenon generates great discussion initially, and then in stages progresses from being accepted to becoming too commonplace to note. With regard to simple duplications of Mr. Prospector, we’ve probably already run through all three stages, and if we are not there already, we are certainly heading that way with regard to multiple strains, given that there are at least 39 graded winners with three or more crosses of Mr. Prospector, including Northern Hemisphere grade I winners Tapitsfly, Laragh, Zazu, It’s Tricky, and Warning Flag. Crusade, a Mr. Greeley son who took last year’s Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I), Europe’s top six-furlong contest for 2-year-olds, takes things a step further, as he has Mr. Prospector 3x5x5x6.
We mentioned that Kauai Katie has some pedigree similarities with some of Malibu Moon’s other good runners. On that particularly comes to mind is the ill-fated Pedigree Consultants recommended mating Devil May Care (TrueNicks A++), winner of the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at 2 and subsequently successful in the Mother Goose Stakes and CCA Oaks (both gr. I). Like Kauai Katie, she was out of a mare by a Hail to Reason line stallion, and where Kauai Katie’s granddam is bred on a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, with the Northern Dancer through Windfields Farm-bred Storm Bird, Devil May Care’s granddam is also a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, with the Northern Dancer through Windfields-bred Deputy Minister and Vice Regent. Of course, Malibu Moon’s Mr. Prospector comes through his group I-winning dam, Macoumba, who is by Mr. Prospector out of a mare by Green Dancer, who is by another Windfields-bred son of Northern Dancer in Nijinsky II.
Of course these elements are not unique to Kauai Katie or Devil May Care. The same Halo branch of Hail to Reason that is responsible for Kauai Katie also produced the dam of Perfect Moon, a colt who was the star of Malibu Moon’s first crop and was a multiple graded stakes winner at 2. Besides Devil May Care, stakes winners from the Roberto branch of Hail to Reason include this year’s Senorita Stakes (gr. III) scorer Bobina (dam by Dynaformer) and near $900,000 earner By The Light (dam by Major Impact).
Malibu Moon stakes winners that have either a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross (thus paralleling Malibu Moon’s dam, a group I winner no less), or a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross (so the reverse), include champion 2-year-old male Declan’s Moon (both broodmare sire and dam are Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer crosses); one his better sons, the ill-fated Odysseus (dam a Mr. Prospector/Nijinsky II cross, like the dam of Malibu Moon); and grade I winner Malibu Prayer, a tribute to the mating skills of the late Edward P. Evans, and out of a mare bred on a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross, with the Mr. Prospector through Nijinsky II’s three-quarter-brother The Minstrel. We will also note the multiple graded stakes winner and 2012 classic contender Prospective, who is out of a mare by Awesome Again (TrueNicks,SRO), who just misses being a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross but echoes the granddam of Devil May Care as he combines Deputy Minister (his sire) and Mr. Prospector (sire of his second dam). It is often illuminating to look at the dams of good stakes winners by a sire and compare common ancestors found and certainly an examination of Vee Vee Star, More Than Pretty, Kelli’s Ransom, Grand Prayer, Persimmon Hill and Spirited Away is a very worthwhile pursuit towards understanding ancestors that suit Malibu Moon.
Although genetic variation ensures there are never any certainties with breeding (we have all seen a slow full sibling to a champion), Kauai Katie shows us again what appear to be repeatable elements of success. While she is by a top-class sire and out of a stakes-winning dam (meaning that her immediate ancestors have some racing/breeding class), she is also the product of a very strong sire/broodmare sire nick. Additionally, this nick is supported by at least two ancestors in the first few generations of her pedigree that are themselves bred on a combination that has a precedent of producing superior runners.