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
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