Queens County H. (gr. III)

(gr. III , 9.5f ,)

MAGNA GRADUATE (DK B/ h, 118 lb) $64,620
Honor Grades —Peacock Alley , by Fast Play
B—Ramon Rangel, KY.; O—Elisabeth H. Alexander; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Papi Chullo (GR/RO h, 116 lb) $21,540
Comeonmom —Leggy Super Model , by Vigors
B—Karen Matthews, FL.; O—Greg Norman; T—Peter J. Menghini

Smart Growth (DK B/ g, 115 lb) $10,770
Gone West —Ratings , by Caveat
B—George Strawbridge Jr., KY.; O—Augustin Stable; T—Jonathan E. Sheppard

Margins: 6½, 9¼, 2. Others: Angliana 114($5,385) , Naughty New Yorker 117($3,231) , Awesome Twist 115($2,154) . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.

Elisabeth Alexander’s Magna Graduate, who missed most the year due to an injury, passed the Queens County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Dec. 9 with flying colors when he crossed the wire first by an easy 61¼2 lengths as the even-money favorite.

“I think he’s a beautiful specimen,” said Alexander, who privately bought the son of Honor Grades early in his 2-year-old campaign. “He’s somewhat small, but mighty and beautifully muscled,” she added of Magna Graduate, who was making only his second start since placing third in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March. The colt suffered a hind leg injury just two days after Barbaro’s Preakness (gr. I) incident that delayed his return until he ran 10th in the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs on Breeders’ Cup day Nov. 4.

“The recovery was wonderful, and the timing of (the Queens County) was very good—he’s back,” said Alexander, adding that Magna Graduate would next fly to Florida to prepare for the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 3.

A horse industry veteran of more than three decades, Alexander received honors as Ohio owner of the year for Magna Graduate’s efforts in 2005, which included victories in the Clark Handicap (gr. II), and the grade III Discovery Handicap and Pegasus Stakes.

A resident of Hunting Valley, Ohio, Alexander owns the 175-acre Eutrophia Farm near Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Alexander and her husband, Quentin, have campaigned two other Ohio champions: Floater and Lived It Up.

Bred in Kentucky by Nicole Zitani and Ramon Rangel, Magna Graduate was purchased for $30,000 by Gary Simms, agent, at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. Consigned by Highclere Sales, agent, the millionaire colt has made all but his first three starts in Alexander’s name.

Magna Graduate is out of the unraced Fast Play mare Peacock Alley, who was purchased for $250,000 by Gaines-Gentry, agent, at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale. Consigned by Our Farm by Highclere Sales, agent, she was in foal to Hennessy.

Peacock Alley’s second foal, Gralley, is a stakes-winning half-brother to Magna Graduate. The 6-year-old gelded son of Mr. Greeley took the Billy Powell Stakes at Albuquerque in 2002.

Peacock Alley has a 2-year-old colt, Strong Ambition (by Brahms), who is unplaced in four starts, and a yearling filly by Holy Bull. Peacock Alley produced her Hennessy foal, a colt, May 9.

Honor Grades is the sire of 33 stakes winners. The son of Danzig stood at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington until 2002 when he was found dead in his paddock.—E.M.