IEAH Stable’s Laragh, one of the outstanding 2-year-old fillies of 2008, will make her debut as a 3-year-old in Saturday’s 60th running of the $150,000 Comely (Grade II) at Aqueduct.
The daughter of Tapit finished a good third to champion Stardom Bound in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), and then completed out her 2-year-old season with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet (GI) over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park.
The $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI) at Churchill Downs remains a goal for trainer John Terranova’s filly, but the one-mile Comely is obviously an important stepping stone for Laragh. It will also mark the debut on dirt for Terranova’s filly, who started her career on the grass.
“She’s bigger, she’s stronger, and hopefully, she’s faster,” Terranova said. “We had originally planned on bringing her back in March, but the extra time off did her a world of good. We went right to the end of last year with her with a lot of traveling, and the transition to age two to age three is a real jump.”
Ramon Dominguez will ride Laragh, who faces five rivals in the Comely. That group includes Florida Oaks (GIII) winner Don’t Forget Gil; Dream Play, the beaten favorite in the Cicada (GIII); and Busher runner-up Subprime.
KENTUCKY/RACHEL ALEXANDRA BACK HOME – L & M Stable’s Rachel Alexandra, a dominant winner of the Fantasy (GI) at Oaklawn and the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) in her last two races, arrived back home at Churchill Downs early Thursday following an overnight van ride from Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Hal Wiggins’ daughter of Medaglia d’Oro looms as the likely favorite for the Kentucky Oaks as she brings a four-race winning streak and six victories in nine career races into her scheduled start in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1. Rachel Alexandra notched the first win of that streak in a romp in the Golden Rod (GII) in November at Churchill Downs.
War Kill ($35.40) upsets Evita Argentina in Keeneland’s Beaumont – Longshot War Kill ($35.40), making her stakes debut for trainer Ken McPeek, survived a stretch-long duel with winner Selva to win Wednesday’s $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (GII at Keeneland.
Julien Leparoux rode the winner, who covered the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs, 184 feet over the Polytrack surface in 1:25.97. Consequence was third and favored Evita Argentina, settled for fourth in the field of six fillies.
Evita Argentina might have earned a Kentucky Oaks start with a big effort. McPeek was not looking in that direction with War Kill, though he was unsure of her next start.
“She’s not a big package but she’s got a huge heart,” McPeek said. “We’ll let the dust settle and figure it out. She’s obviously got a lot of talent.”