04/05/2012 12:10PM

Aqueduct: Broadway’s Alibi, Millionreasonswhy get distance test in Comely

Barbara D. Livingston
Broadway’s Alibi will try to stretch her speed to a mile for the first time in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Optimism runs rampant in early April, when every fan’s baseball team is a contender and anyone with a precocious 3-year-old is convinced their horse will like more distance.

Saturday’s one-mile Comely looms a telling barometer for the connections of several highly promising fillies as they seek to learn what sort of races to focus on down the road. The Grade 3, $250,000 Comely is race 7 and begins an all graded stakes pick four with a $500,000 guarantee at 4:04 p.m. Eastern.

Under the gun from the rail is 4-5 morning-line favorite Broadway’s Alibi, who, like challengers Millionreasonswhy, Singlet, and Welcome Guest, has never been this far.

Broadway’s Alibi has won three in a row by more than 28 lengths, but missed some training time due to shedding a frog on her left hind foot. This will be her first start since dominating a sloppy renewal of the seven-furlong Forward Gal on the lead nearly 10 weeks ago.

“She did freak that day,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who is shooting for his first Comely win. “I don’t know that it was only because it was a wet track. The more she’s trained this winter, the more confident I would be that she would stretch out, which I wasn’t sure of earlier in the year. We’ll know more Saturday.”

If it weren’t for a neck loss to eventual champion My Miss Aurelia after a gut-wrenching duel in the Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, Millionreasonswhy would be unbeaten through four starts for Ignacio “Nacho” Correas IV, including a win in the repositioned Grade 2 Matron over Say a Novena (who also was second to Broadway’s Alibi in the Forward Gal).

The Adirondack turned out to be the final 2011 start for Millionreasonswhy, who returned last month at Laurel to win her tune-up at seven furlongs under confident handling.

The Adirondack “was a race that could break a horse’s heart,” Correas said. “She wasn’t the same filly after the race as she had been going into it, so we decided to give her some time off. She came back the same horse. I feel like she’ll get the distance.”

Based at Aqueduct, the steadily improving Singlet has the home-track edge after improving to 4 for 5 with a pair of ungraded stakes wins on the inner dirt for Tony Dutrow, who sent out 2008 Comely winner Sherine. However, this will be Singlet’s first start past six furlongs.

“It looks like she’ll rate, and she’ll relax as well,” assistant trainer Paul McClelland said. “I’m more concerned about the quality of her competition.”

Welcome Guest stretched out to 7 1/2 furlongs for her second start and beat maidens impressively with a 91 Beyer Speed Figure as one of four next-out winners out of a key-race debut at six furlongs.

Off Limits was a one-mile maiden winner at Aqueduct’s fall meet for Bill Mott. She adds blinkers after shying from the whip and missing in a photo in the Busher Stakes.

Nuffsaid Nuffsaid and Bourbonstreetgirl complete the field.

Comely S. (G3), Post Time: 4:04 ET Saturday

Purse: $250,000; 1 mile





ML Odds


Broadway's Alibi

T. Pletcher

J. Castellano



Off Limits

W. Mott

J. Alvarado




I. Correas, IV

J. Velazquez



Nuffsaid Nuffsaid

M. Hennig

J. Castanon



Welcome Guest

C. Brown

R. Dominguez




A. Dutrow

C. Velasquez




G. Contessa

D. Cohen