03/16/2013 5:15PM

Aqueduct: Elghayoor outkicks heavy favorite in Cicada

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Elghayoor, ridden by Eddie Castro, collects her second straight stakes win in the Cicada.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Despite her victory as a maiden in the Dearly Precious Stakes last month, Elghayoor was dismissed as the 6-1 third choice in Saturday’s $100,000 Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct.

Elghayoor made her nonbelievers pay dearly as she rallied strongly under Eddie Castro and outfinished 1-2 favorite Highestmaintenance to win the Cicada by one-half length. Highestmaintenance, who tussled early with I’m Mom’s Favorite, finished second by 1 1/4 lengths over I’m Mom’s Favorite. Railtown Girl, Kiss the Lady, and Sense of Reality completed the order of finish.

 Elghayoor ($14.20), a daughter of Ghostzapper owned by Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, ran six furlongs in 1:09.82. That was 3.35 seconds faster than she ran when winning the Dearly Precious.

 “That was a step up again. Good run, huh?” said Art Magnuson, McLaughlin’s New York-based assistant. “She trained very well in between, but you can’t tell that until you run. It looked pretty tough on paper.”

 Highestmaintenance, shipping up from south Florida for trainer Todd Pletcher, was expected to make the early lead, but was outfooted by I’m Mom’s Favorite. Highestmaintenance, under Rajiv Maragh, chased that one through a quarter in 22.50 seconds and a half-mile in 45.23.

 Castro had Elghayoor three wide and had to go a path or two wider turning for home. It took Highestmaintenance until just outside the sixteenth pole to make the lead, but she couldn’t hold off Elghayoor, who took the lead at the 70-yard marker.

 “I was surprised and happy that there was something up front with her,” said Magnuson, referring to Highestmaintenance. “It helped, absolutely.”

 The win was worth 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks to Elghayoor. Magnuson said he’s not sure how far Elghayoor wants to run and added he will leave that decision up to McLaughlin and Rick Nichols, the racing manager for Shadwell.

 Maragh said he was content to let I’m Mom’s Favorite have the early lead, and expressed surprise that somebody came from behind to nail him.

 “My filly kicked on from the top of the lane home,” Maragh said. “The other one ran a remarkable race. As good as my filly ran, I couldn’t believe somebody could beat me.”