11/24/2012 4:46PM

Aqueduct: Dance Card pulls away in Gazelle as Dominguez wins five on card

Barbara D. Livingston
Dance Card, with Ramon Dominguez up, wins the Grade 1 Gazelle. It was Dominguez's fifth win on the card.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Through flurries that signaled winter’s imminent arrival, Dance Card dashed around Aqueduct’s main track for a front-running victory in Saturday’s $350,000 Gazelle Stakes – the last Grade 1 race of the year in New York.

Breaking alertly beneath Ramon Dominguez – who was notching the fifth win on his birthday for the second straight year – Dance Card grabbed the early lead and the rail through early fractions of 23.92 and 48.62 seconds while pressed from the outside by My Wandy’s Girl.

Dance Card started to edge away from My Wandy’s Girl after shortly after completing six furlongs in 1:12.67, settled into the stretch with a clear advantage, and widened under her own power while drifting out noticeably, something she had done in winning the Belle Cherie overnight stakes at Belmont in her previous start.

“It’s a good way to celebrate,” said Dominguez, 36, who also posted a five-bagger on Thanksgiving Day when it fell on Nov. 24 a year ago. “I think she’s just looking around when she comes into the stretch, but I’m not worried about it. She’s got a high cruising speed and wants to run. She’s special.”

Dance Card, a 3-year-old filly by Bernardini, was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed for $750,000 in February 2011. She was in hand late to score by four lengths in her first graded stakes assignment and ran 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:50.39. The Gazelle was her fourth straight win for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who had been mired in a 1-for-51 slump since Dance Card took the Belle Cherie on Sept. 23.

“It’s great to win a Grade 1 for Godolphin,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t like her drifting, it’s not ideal, but Ramon got her home and had a big day. It’s never felt so good to be 2 for our last 52.”

Sea Island, who lagged well behind early, rallied wide into the stretch and was along in the final strides to get second by a neck over My Wandy’s Girl, who was running back nine days after winning the Pentelis overnight stakes in her first start outside of Puerto Rico – her ninth consecutive win.

It was one length farther back to Lady Cohiba in fourth. Book Review failed to mount a serious challenge and checked in fifth as the 9-5 second choice, beating only Jemima’s Pearl and Wildcat’s Smile.