Calder: Kya One scores first U.S. victory in My Charmer Handicap

Kya One Paco Lopez JockeyKya One, evidently, needed just one test drive to get the hang of American racing. The 4-year-old French import turned in a professional performance and wore down Naples Bay to win the Grade 3, $100,000 My Charmer Handicap on Thursday at Calder Race Course.

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A 4-year-old filly bred in France and raced overseas for the first 19 starts of her career, Kya One came to trainer Chad Brown earlier this year and made her North American debut in the Noble Damsel Stakes on Sept. 15 at Belmont, finishing a decent fifth of nine after falling far back in the early going. Saturday, she stuck much closer to the pace, racing in sixth as longshot Wicked Night set splits of 23.14 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.16 for the first half.

Pressing Speak Easy Gal briefly took the lead, but couldn’t hold it as Naples Bay, the 2-1 second choice, reached the front in midstretch. But jockey Paco Lopez had Kya One rolling, too, and swinging off the hedge for running room, Kya One ran down Naples Bay and went on to a 1 1/4-length win, with Janicellaine a neck back in third.

Winning time for 1 1/8 miles on firm turf was 1:47.40. Kya One, the favorite, paid $5.60 to win. A daughter of One Cool Cat bred by Ecurie D, Kya One is owned by Mackie Racing.