French import Kya One, making her second start in the United States, came from off the pace to register a 1 1/4-length victory as the favorite in the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Calder Casino and Race Course Nov. 22.
Paco Lopez guided the 4-year-old daughter of One Cool Cat, a son of Storm Cat, to victory for Mackie Racing and trainer Chad Brown. The bay filly, bred in France by Ecurie D., is out of the unraced Thunder Gulch mare Kya Gulch.
Kya One was timed in 1:47.40 over firm ground for the Thanksgiving Day My Charmer, a 1 1/8-mile test for fillies and mares.
A minor stakes winner and group-placed in France, where she won five of 19 starts with seven placings, Kya One made her U.S. racing debut at Belmont Park Sept. 15 with a fifth-place effort in the Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT).
Kya One was rematched with Naples Bay, the winner of the one-mile Noble Damsel, and clearly appreciated the extra furlong. Saving ground while reserved toward the rear of the pack, Lopez angled Kya One to the outside for the drive. She responded to urging approaching mid-stretch to sweep past Naples Bay leaving the eighth pole and won with something left as the 9-5 choice.
“My plan was to put her wherever I could in the race, so I just let the other fillies go and she settled nicely behind,” Lopez said. “At the three-eighths pole I had a good position, and then when I pushed, my filly started running hard. She tried real hard from the mile to the mile and a sixteenth, and she finished strong.”
Naples Bay, stalking pacesetters Wicked Night and Speak Easy Gal in third for Luis Saez, took a narrow edge rounding the far turn and maintained her advantage before giving way to the winner. She held off the Irish-bred Janicellaine and Gabriel Saez for second by a neck, with Hooh Why fourth.
Callmethesqueeze, Speak Easy Gal, and Wicked Night completed the order in the field of seven. Wicked Night led Speak Easy Gal through opening fractions of :23.14 and :47.16 before Speak Easy Gal took a brief lead while completing six furlongs in 1:11.63.
Kya One earned $60,760 for her sixth victory from 21 starts and has now banked $234,168. She has won three of four starts at the nine-furlong distance.
Carrying 116 pounds, three fewer than Naples Bay, the winner paid $5.60, $3.20, and $2.40. Naples Bay, the 2-1 second choice, returned $3.60 and $2.80 while rounding out a $17.20 exacta. Janicellaine paid $3 to show.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/74640/french-lass-kya-one-angles-to-my-charmer-win#ixzz2D52CcCqM