OZONE PARK, NY – Gary and Mary West’s homebred Actress used first-time blinkers to help take home top honors on Friday, winning the Grade 3, $250,000 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct.
Off well under Jose Ortiz from post 5, Actress sat just off of the early pace set by Run and Go and Miss Sky Warrior through fractions of :25.34, :49.85, and 1:14.07. Unleashed into the far turn, Actress hit the top of the stretch with a full head of steam and a 4 1/2-length lead, which she extended to 8 1/4 by the wire in a final time of 1:52.66 for the 1 1/8-mile main track event.
“The (blinkers) helped her a lot,” Ortiz said. “She broke a little bit better and she pulled herself close, and when I asked her to go, she responded very well. It was a clear run to the first turn and I didn’t take a hold of her; I let her go on her own and I let her take the position that she wanted. I just sat on her until the 1/4-pole. The longer she goes, the better it is for her.”
Parade was up late to taken second over Miss Sky Warrior by a nose. Tapella ran three-wide around the length of the track before finishing fourth. You Know Too, Analyze, Bonita Bianca, and Run and Go completed the order of finish. Crimson Frost was scratched.
The win was Actress’ first since a sloppy edition of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico in May. The 3-year-old Tapit daughter increased her career earnings to $395,150 with a record of 7-2-2-1.
“I thought she ran super,” Servis said. “With putting on the blinkers, that is always satisfying because sometimes you try something, and another thing happens. We felt the blinkers would help her; just kind of saving them for an ace in the hole. It was nice to get a win with Jose, too.”
Actress returned $7.30 to win, $3.70 to place, and $2.80 to show. Parade brought back $5.80 to place and $2.80 to show, while Miss Sky Warrior paid $2.70 to show.