Mackie Racing’s Kya One, who could do no better than fifth when beaten four lengths by Naples Bay in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park in September, exacted revenge on that rival when proving 1 ¼-length the best in the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap at Calder Casino & Race Course on Thursday.
“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,” winning rider Paco Lopez said of the race-strategy that allowed Kya One to relax along the rail in sixth place while Wicked Night and Speak Easy Gal traded blows on the lead through opening splits of :23.14 and :47.16.
Kya One continued to save ground through the turn, improving her position to fifth as the tiring pacesetters began to retreat. The French-bred filly was then tipped three-wide at the top of the stretch to advance on the inherited leader Naples Bay, putting her head in front with 50 yards to run before expanding that margin through the wire, stopping the timer in 1:47.40 for the 1 1/8-mile trip over firm ground.
“At the three-eighths pole I had a good position, and then when I pushed, my filly started running hard,” Lopez said. “She tried real hard form the mile to the mile and a sixteenth, and she finished strong. She’s a nice filly.”
Trained by Chad Brown, Kya One returned $5.60, $3.20, and $2.40 for the win. Naples Bay paid $3.60 and $2.80 when holding on for second, a neck better than Janicellaine, who paid $3.00 when third.
Completing the order of finish was Hooh Why, Callmethesqueeze, Speak Easy Gal, and Wicked Night.
With her victory in the My Charmer, Kya One has now prevailed in six of her 21 lifetime starts with lifetime earnings of $234,168. Thursday’s race marked the second North American appearance for the daughter of One Cool Cat, who had competed exclusively in her native France for the first 19 outings of her career.