IEAH Stables and partners’ Laragh tired to finish fifth in her 3-year-old debut last month, but the classy daughter of Tapit still has a big edge over the other 11 fillies in the $100,000 Edgewood Stakes on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Laragh is the lone graded stakes winner in Edgewood, a 1 1/16-mile test for sophomore fillies. The turf contest is race 8 on the Churchill program, three races prior to the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Laragh was terrific as a juvenile, winning the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland in October before running a strong third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf two weeks later at Santa Anita. The gray/roan filly closed out her season with a wire-to-wire score in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) on the Cushion Track.
In her first start on natural dirt, the April 11 Comely (gr. II) at Aqueduct, Laragh did not look comfortable on the slop and finished 17 lengths off the pace. Her return to the grass, where she is 1-0-1 from three starts, should help.
John Terranova trains Laragh, who was bred in Kentucky by Mike Ryan and is out of the El Prado mare Rose of Summer. Edgar Prado, aboard for her two stakes wins, gets the call on the 121-pound high weight.
Donamire Farm’s Walloon will make her turf debut for Katherine Ball and could be a factor based on her bullet work on Keeneland’s grass course earlier this month. The Alphabet Soup filly won the Valdale Stakes at Turfway Park two starts back on the Polytrack and one month later finished fourth in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) over the same ground in her graded stakes debut. Hector Rosario Jr. will ride.
Dolphus Morrison and trainer Hal Wiggins, who will send out odds-on favorite Rachel Alexandra later in the day in the Kentucky Oaks, are in with Abbott Hall, who seems to prefer the grass. The El Corredor filly is 2-0-1 from four starts on the grass, the two wins coming by six lengths apiece. In her most recent effort, Abbott Hall missed by just three parts of a length in the Nov. 29 Caressing Handicap at Churchill Downs. This will be her 3-year-old debut. Robby Albarado will ride.
Also in with a good chance is Michael Matz trainee Magical Affair, who has won consecutive starts on the turf, the last one coming by 2 1/2 lengths in allowance company at Keeneland on April 8. Julien Leparoux will get the return call.