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Elghayoor Continues Upward Trend in Cicada

Elghayoor continued her upward ascent Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, collaring heavily favored Highestmaintenance in deep stretch to post a half-length victory in the $100,000 Cicada, her second straight stakes win.

 

Patiently handled by jockey Eddie Castro, the 3-year-old Ghostzapper filly raced in third as Highestmaintenance and I’m Mom’s Favorite dueled through an opening quarter-mile in 22.50 seconds, with the half going in 45.23. Given her cue at the head of the stretch, Elghayoor bore down on the front runners approaching the eighth pole and edged away in the final strides.

 

“My filly broke really sharp,” said Castro. “The other two horses went head and head. At the three-eighths, we were in a really good space. I rode and I rode hard, and she gave me a nice kick in the last part.”

 

Elghayoor covered six furlongs over the inner track in 1:09.82, more than three seconds faster than her winning time for the Dearly Precious on February 17.

 

“Standing here right now, I kind of think that was a step up again,” said Art Magnuson, assistant to winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “Good run, huh? She has trained really well between [races], but you can’t tell that until you run.”

 

Sent off at 6-1, Elghayoor returned $14.20 for a $2 win as she extended her record to 2-2-0 from four starts. The winner’s purse of $60,000 nearly doubled her earnings to $129,800 for her owner and breeder, Shadwell Stable.

 

“Eddie and I were chatting about if she can go further,” said Magnuson. “[There’s] one way to find out. We’re not even sure where to go next. [Shadwell Farm vice president/general manager] Rick Nichols and Kiaran can decide that.”

 

Mike Repole’s Highestmaintenance, the 1-2 favorite in her stakes debut off a victory and a second-place finish at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher, crossed the finish line 1 ¼ lengths ahead of I’m Mom’s Favorite. Railtown Girl, also trained by McLaughlin, was fourth, followed by Kiss the Lady and Sense of Reality. Disco Barbie was scratched.

 

 

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