Broadway's Alibi, a 16 3/4-length winner of the Forward Gal (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park in January, will attempt to deliver another brilliant performance when she tops a field of seven in the $250,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III) April 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Comely, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, will go off as race 6. It is the first of four graded stakes on the Saturday program.
In the Jan. 29 Forward Gal, at seven furlongs on the slop, Broadway’s Alibi seized command early and steadily extended her advantage to win under a hand ride. It was the third straight open-length victory for the daughter of Vindication after a maiden win at Delaware Park and a dominant optional claiming score in December at Gulfstream.
“She pretty much ran everyone off their feet,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains the homebred for E. Paul Robsham Stables. “The further they went, the further in front she went and the stronger she ran.”
Pletcher said he considered having Broadway’s Alibi face males in Gulfstream’s Swale (gr. III) on March 10 but had to bypass the race after she shed a frog on her left hind foot. She was later pointed toward the Comely, which will be her first start beyond seven furlongs.
A strong performance in the Comely could put Broadway’s Alibi under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) on May 4, Pletcher said.
“I thought that with the way she ran (in the Forward Gal) and the way she has been training, the extra distance shouldn’t be a problem,” said Pletcher.“We would need her to run well and finish strongly for us to consider having her try two turns. If she does, we’ll be monitoring the Kentucky Oaks.”
Javier Castellano will ride Broadway’s Alibi, the 4-5 morning-line favorite who drew the rail, for the first time.
Sagamore Farm’s Millionreasonswhy looks like the biggest threat to the favorite after taking Laurel Park’s Wide Country Stakes on March 3. In her juvenile finale, she finished second by a neck to eventual champion 2-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia in the Adirondack (gr. II) at Saratoga,
Victorious in the Matron (gr. II) at Belmont Park in July, Millionreasonswhy was denied narrowly by My Miss Aurelia in the Adirondack following a lengthy duel. Trainer Ignacio Correas decided to rest Millionreasonswhy after the Adirondack and focus on a sophomore campaign.
“It was a race that could break a horse’s heart,” said Correas. “She wasn’t the same filly after the race as she had been going into it, so we decided to give her some time off. She came back the same horse.”
In the seven-furlong Wide Country, Millionreasonswhy came from off the pace to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths. It was an additional 12 3/4 lengths back to the third-place finisher.
“If you look at her numbers, she has been running (Beyer speed figures) in the 90s,” said Correas. “She went to Saratoga and faced one of the best fillies in the country, if not the best, in My Miss Aurelia and did well.”
Correas also said his long-range target for Millionreasonswhy remains the Kentucky Oaks.
“I feel good about it. I feel like she’ll get the (Comely) distance,” said Correas. “She hadn’t run in six months (prior to the Wide Country), and it’s challenging coming back. She should be even better this time.”
John Velazquez, who rode Broadway’s Alibi in the Forward Gal, opted to ride Millionreasonswhy in the Comely. Millreasonswhy will leave from post 3 as the 5-2 morning-line second choice.
$250,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 4:04 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 Mile