Kathryn the Wise sparkles in La Verdad Stakes

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

Lawrence Goichman’s 6-year-old homebred Kathryn the Wise (Uncle Mo), who has been steadily rounding back into form following a 17-month break, delivered a dazzler at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday: a dominant 10-plus-length victory over sloppy going in the featured $100,000 La Verdad Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Trained by Chad Brown, Kathryn the Wise has been something special from the beginning, but has had difficulty putting races together back-to-back.

In her debut and lone start at three at Aqueduct on November 25, 2016, Kathryn the Wise aired by 5 1/2 lengths in a state-bred maiden special weight. Returning to competition the following spring the handsome mare only managed to make two 2017 starts, but won the pair by a combined 20 1/4 lengths – a first-level state-bred allowance by 12 lengths at Aqueduct on April 5, then the lucrative one-mile Critical Eye at Belmont by 8 1/4 lengths in her stakes debut. Unfortunately, she was not seen again until fall 2018.

Heavily favored in open allowances in October and November, Kathryn the Wise experienced her first tastes of defeat, settling for a fourth and second, respectively, but put in solid efforts both times, particularly on November 29 when she ran second to the formidable Dawn the Destroyer.

NYRA/Susie Raisher

Bettors Saturday showed that they had not lost faith Kathryn the Wise’s magic. Heavily favored in all five prior starts, she was again sent off as the top choice odds of 8-5 in a high quality field filled with both talent and speed. A previous win at a mile meant the 7-furlong distance of the La Verdad posed no problem, and the mare was a perfect two-for-to over off-going.

Jockey Manny Franco got Kathryn the Wise out of the gate in a hurry and, by the time she completed the opening quarter in 23:10, Kathryn the Wise was a full length ahead of 9-5 second choice, Chester and Mary Broman homebred Pauseforthecause.

Pauseforthecause kept chasing with intent along the backstretch and gained some ground around the far turn, but was ultimately no match. By the quarter pole Kathryn the Wise was comfortably in control and bee-lined toward the wire several paths off the soupiest inside portion of the track.

Kathryn the Wise poured it on in the stretch, widening her advantage with every stride and crossing the finish line all alone, a 10 3/4-length winner. After a half-mile in 46.47 and six furlongs in 1:12.24, she completed seven furlongs over the sloppy, sealed racetrack in 1:25.22

Playinwiththeboys (22-1) vied with – and bested – Pauseforthecause in a battle for second by a neck. Next under the wire in order of finish were: Starlite Mission, Sunset Ridge, Palladian Bridge, Silly Sister and Byself. Scratched were a second Broman homebred, Out of Orbit, and Dream Maker Racing’s Satisfy, a likely contender. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Manny Franco, aboard Kathryn the Wise for the first time (replacing regular jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. who is currently riding at Gulfstream Park) said, “She was ready. I came out of there good and put her on the lead, because I talked to Chad [Brown] and he told me to go for it. She was so comfortable in front and she was there for me. I just [urged] her one time, and as soon as I did, she just took off. I had a lot of horse under me.”

Chad Brown assistant Whit Beckman said, “She likes the slop, and she performed in it today. The plan was to see if she could get to the lead easily and she did just that. She rated up front nicely and kicked away when asked.”

Given the mare’s history, Beckman sounded a cautious note about predicting the Kathryn the Wise’s next start, saying, “[It was a] good performance from her to start the year and we’ll see how she comes out it before deciding what’s next.”

From four victories in six starts with one runner-up finish Kathryn the Wise has already earned $263,000.

Kathryn the Wise, who was foaled at Vivien Malloy’s Edition Farm, is the most recent reported foal of three offspring produced by Goichman homebred Shea d’Lady, all of whom are winners. Her third dam, unraced Kentucky-bred Elhasna (Danzig), was purchased by Goichman at the 2002 Keeneland January sale for $92,000.


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