Kodiac’s outstanding purple patch continued in the US on Saturday as his rapidly progressive daughter Island Of Love landed a deserved breakthrough in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes over a mile on the turf at Santa Anita.
The filly, bred by Razza Del Velino, became the third stakes winner of the week for Kodiac after Umm Kulthum, successful in the Kilvington Stakes at Newmarket, and Pennine Hills, winner of the Prix des Lilas at Chantilly.
Incidentally, Island Of Love is bred on the same Shamardal cross as Umm Kulthum; the cross is also responsible for Group 1-winning sprinter Hello Youmzain and the high-class Gifted Master.
Island Of Love was the emphatic winner of both her first two starts in Italy, including the Listed Premio Eupili, and was duly purchased to continue her career in the US. Sent to Philip d’Amato, she ran second in the Lady Shamrock Stakes on her American debut before a good fourth in the China Doll Stakes.
On Saturday, it was plain sailing, with the filly pouncing on the home turn to pull clear for a two-and-a-quarter length success under jockey Juan Hernandez.
“Juan just put her in the right position today, gave her a chance to win,” said Phil D'Amato. “She kind of had been stuck in a box in the last two races and today there were no excuses, she answered the call. I think a mile is well within her realm, I mean the way she accelerated in the stretch today, I think she can maybe handle a little bit further, but a mile is probably her sweet spot.”
Now the winner of three of five starts, Island Of Love becomes the 37th Group/Graded stakes winner for Kodiac. She was bred by Razza Del Velino out of Misham, a half-sister to German champion Mi Emma.