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Touching Beauty holds on in Comely

Touching Beauty came from just off the pace to take the lead in midstretch and then held on through the final yards to score a half-length victory over Speightful Affair in the 61st running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Comely Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack.


Sent off at 5-1 by the crowd of 4,531, the 3-year-old Tapit filly settled in behind the leaders, running well off the rail, as Anchorage and Volare Cantare towed the field through fractions of 23.40 and 47.70. Straightening for home, jockey Mike Luzzi asked her for run and she responded to take over inside the eighth pole and go on to her first stakes victory.


Her winning time for the mile was 1:37.90 over a fast track.


“My trip was perfect,” said Luzzi, aboard the filly for the first time. “I didn’t want her to angle out so soon, but I didn’t want her to get trapped either. She just stayed there and waited for me to call on her, and when I asked her, I had a little horse, and she finished up nice.”


The victory was her second in three starts this year, and her first in New York since breaking her maiden at Saratoga Race Course last August.


“She’s probably improving with more racing,” said Jimmy Jerkens, who trains Touching Beauty for Gainesway Stable and Joseph Cornacchia. “Down in Florida, she raced once in the beginning of the meet, and once at the end, and her last was a nice, seven-furlong prep.


“If there ever was a time she was going to win going a mile, this was it,” he added.


Touching Beauty, who returned $12 for a $2 win bet, earned $60,000 to extend her earnings to $181,450 and her record to 3-2-0 from seven starts.


“We might look at a race like the Prioress [Grade 1, seven furlongs, Belmont Park, July 4],” said Jerkens. “It’s worth a try, a Grade 1, you never know. I’m not sure if she’s Acorn [Grade 1, one mile, Belmont Park, June 5] material; it all depends on who runs.”


Speightful Affair finished half-length in front of C C’s Pal, who in turn was followed by Indian Burn, Volare Cantare, Anchorage, favored She’ll Be Doggone – who stumbled and lost all chance while racing in tight quarters in the stretch – and Roman Chestnut.




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