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.