SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Cleber J. Massey’s Blamed established the early lead and had enough left late to hold on for her first graded score in Friday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct.
Breaking strongly from post 4 under Julien Leparoux as the 6/5 favorite, Blamed was joined on the front end by Alberobello to her outside while posting fractions of :24.96, :49.01, and 1:13.14. Midway through the far turn, Alberobello hit the proverbial wall and began dropping back, but Blamed kept running and at one point led by over 4 lengths. After she straightened for home, however, that lead began dwindling as a late-running Remedy began steadily making up ground. The distance proved to be too much for her foe to overcome, though, because Blamed was able to dig in and hold on to win by 3/4 of a length in a final time of 1:51.98 for the 9-furlong event over the fast main track.
“She’s fast, naturally fast,” Leparoux said. “She broke fast. We could have slowed down a little bit, but she was very comfortable and she did it very nicely. She was doing easy the whole way, and when I asked her, she really kicked in very nice for me. I think we had a little bit more left in the tank at the wire, so that’s nice.”
Remedy fought hard to take second after breaking quite poorly and proved far and away the best of the rest, clearing third-place finisher Indy Union by 10 lengths. Split Time took fourth, while Hey Niki was a 1/2-length past Stronger Than Ever for fifth. Alberobello and War Cabinet completed the order of finish.
Blamed’s win was her fourth of the year and her fourth in a stakes event to improve her record to 8-6-2-0. The 3-year-old daughter of Blame increased her lifetime earnings to $401,260.
“I watched her break well,” Mott said. “I didn’t see what happened with the other speed horse in there (Remedy) outside at the break. I saw she (Remedy) was further back, and it looked like we were going relatively easy on the front end. Of course, you never know going a mile and 1/8 for the first time in her life. She got the job done.”
Blamed returned $4.40 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. Remedy brought back $5.20 to place and $3.70 to show, while Indy Union paid $4 to show.