Gary and Mary West's homebred Actress donned blinkers for the first time and opened up by 8 1/4 lengths under the wire to win the Grade 3, $250,000 Comely for sophomore fillies on Aqueduct Racetrack's Black Friday holiday card, notching her first stakes victory since the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 19.
Ridden by Jose Ortiz, the gray Tapit filly stayed in the clear through the early going of the 1 1/8-mile contest, settling just behind 9-5 favorite Miss Sky Warrior in second while the pacesetting Run and Go took the field of eight through an opening quarter-mile in 25.34 seconds.
Actress launched her bid after a half-mile in 49.85, moving along the outside to challenge the leaders. She hooked up with Miss Sky Warrior in the far turn as Run and Go faded along the rail. Miss Sky Warrior also proved no match as the pair hit the quarter-pole, leaving Actress alone in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:52.66.
Parade was second, a nose ahead of Miss Sky Warrior in third. Tapella was fourth, followed by You Know Too, Analyze, Bonita Bianca, and Run and Go to complete the order of finish. Crimson Frost was scratched.
Sent off as the 5-2 second-choice, Actress returned $7.30 for a $2 win wager.
The Jason Servis trainee earned her first stakes win over a sloppy and sealed track in the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico Racecourse at 12-1 but had been winless in three subsequent starts, most recently finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 23, leading her connections to add blinkers ahead of her start in the Comely.
“I thought she ran super,” said Servis. “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.”
“The [blinkers] helped her a lot,” added Ortiz. “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 quarter-pole. The longer she goes, the better it is for her.”
Actress improved her record to 2-2-1 from seven starts for lifetime earnings of $395,150.
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