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Wedding Toast Ready to Roll in Comely

Aqueduct Gate 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
One year ago on Cigar Mile Day at Aqueduct Racetrack, Kiaran McLaughlin saddled favored Dance Card to a four-length victory in the Grade 1 Gazelle to close out her 3-year-old campaign. On Saturday, the trainer is hoping another sophomore filly can bring home a stakes win on the Cigar Mile undercard when Wedding Toast takes on nine others in the 64th running of the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely at the Big A.

 

The Comely will be run as race 7 on the 10-race Cigar Mile card, which has a special first-race post time of noon, and serve as the first leg of the $250,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4.

 

At 1 1/8 miles, the Comely will be the first graded stakes start for Wedding Toast, who ran her winning streak to three with a 3 ¼-length score in the Belle Cherie overnight stakes on October 25 at Belmont Park. Prior to that, the Godolphin Stable color-bearer galloped by 14 ½ lengths in a one-mile optional claimer on September 11, earning a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in the Comely field.

 

"She ran huge in the optional claimer and then came back and won, so we like her a lot," said McLaughlin. "We won last year with Dance Card, so we're hoping Wedding Toast will be as good as the Gazelle winner, because Dance Card is a very nice filly."

 

That wasn't the case earlier this year, when the Darley-bred daughter of Street Sense made her debut at Belmont.

 

"Early on she was terrible at the gate; first time out, she broke terribly and we were all happy when she ran second," said McLaughlin. "She's a nice filly, but it wasn't 'This is a superstar' by any means. She's really shown up in the afternoons."

 

Javier Castellano will ride Wedding Toast, the 8-5 favorite on the morning line, from post position 2.

 

Also entering the Comely off an overnight stakes win is Repole Stable's Galloping Giraffe, who rallied to take the Punkin Pie by a neck on October 24. Second to Wedding Toast in September, the Tapit filly has made one previous stakes start, finishing fourth behind Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1, 1 ¼-mile Alabama at Saratoga Race Course.

 

"The thinking was a distance of ground would not be an issue; obviously, it was not her bag that day," said Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "She then came back and ran into Wedding Toast, but last time out the race set up for her perfectly, and she was able to get her nose down at the wire. She's been training well since."

 

At 12-1 on the morning line, Galloping Giraffe will leave from post position 8 with Rajiv Maragh in the irons.

 

Second choice at 7-2 on the morning line, My Happy Face received a freshening after a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 21 at Parx Racing, her third straight start in a Grade 1. The multiple graded stakes winner will be making her second Big A appearance, having won the Grade 3 Tempted as a 2-year-old.

 

Joel Rosario rides from post position 4.

 

Drawing the outside post position 10 is Street Girl, most recently fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff. The Street Hero filly is in search of her first victory since taking the Calder Oaks in March. Jose Lezcano will be aboard the 5-1 third choice on the morning line.

 

Rounding out the field, from the rail out, are Flash Forward, Teen Pauline, Marathon lady, Sky Girl, Sheer Drama and Toasting.

 

 

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