Golden Goose Enterprise and IEAH Stables’ Laragh took an early lead and never let it go, romping home to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes Oct. 9 on the Keeneland turf.
The win earned Laragh an automatic berth in the $1-million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Oct. 24 at Santa Anita. The 1 1/16-mile Jessamine was the 57th and final Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event.
Edgar Prado sent Laragh straight to the front after breaking from post seven. Glamorous Gal stalked the pace under Calvin Borel, while Complicity and Maybe Baby battled each other in the next group. But Laragh was able to go uncontested on the front end while clicking off fractions of:22.87, :47.26, and 1:12.73.
After building a commanding five-length lead at the top of the lane, Laragh showed no signs of slowing down. She was never threatened in the final furlong, finally stopping the clock in 1:43.54 on the "firm" turf.
Habaya was second under Richard Migliore, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Complicity. Betting favorite Abbott Hall was fourth in a field of 12.
“She has very tactical speed and put me right there from the beginning," Prado said. "I was very happy when she slowed down a little back on the backside, and I had enough left at the end. Once she got on the backside and she was by herself, she relaxed. I liked it when she hit another gear at the top of the stretch. That was good.”
Trained by John Terranova II, Laragh had made all three of her previous starts at Woodbine for Mark Casse. The 2-year-old Tapit filly broke her maiden at second asking Aug. 9 on the Polytrack and less than five weeks later was sent into graded stakes company. In the Sept. 14 Natalma (gr. IIIT) at a mile, Laragh finished fifth. Since then, she had worked twice at Belmont.
Terranova wasn't immediately sure of the plans for Laragh.
“We’re going to have to see how she comes out, obviously," Terranova said. "We only have 15 days (until the Breeders' Cup). It’s been in the back of our minds. She’s trained very nicely; we’ve only had her three weeks. Mark Casse had her up in Canada. He did a hell of a job training her and developing her early on. We were just pleased to get her and anxious to see what she could do.
“We’ll see about the time going into the Breeders’ Cup. We’ll have to talk it over with the owners and everybody, but we’re just excited about this one right now.”
Bred in Kentucky by Mike Ryan, Laragh is out of the El Prado mare Rose of Summer. She paid $25.20, $10.60, and $4.60. The exacta (7-1) returned $116.40, while the trifecta (7-1-4) payout was $510.40.
Phola was fifth, followed by War Tigress, It’s Tiffin Time, Lake Cook, Glamorous Gal, Hint of Lemon, Maybe Baby, and Never Lie.