11/12/2017 5:39PM

Bee Noteworthy impresses in division of New York Stallion Stakes

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Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Bee Noteworthy and jockey Rajiv Maragh score by 5 1/4 lengths in the Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Stakes.

Bee Noteworthy keeps improving for trainer James Bond, and on Sunday at Aqueduct, she turned in a breakout performance in the Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Stakes, pulling away to win by 5 1/4 lengths.

The seven-furlong Staten Island was Bee Noteworthy's first stakes win and improved her record to seven wins from 14 starts. A New York-bred daughter of Read the Footnotes, Bee Noteworthy has come a long way from the summer of 2016, when Bond ran her in a conditioned $16,000 claiming race.

Following a victory in that race, Bond sent her to Finger Lakes for three consecutive allowance starts, two of which she won. Bee Noteworthy has climbed the class ladder ever since and is 3 for 7 this year.

"Sometimes these fillies, if you place them right, they just find out they can win," Bond said. "I would have been laughed at if I lost her for $16,000, but that's what she needed at the time."

Bee Noteworthy was timed in 1:25.36 and paid $9.20 as the second betting choice in the six-horse field.

Behnik's Bank set fractions of 23.69 and 46.89 seconds while being pressed by Wonderment. Nearing the stretch, Bluegrass Jamboree moved up to challenge three wide.

Bee Noteworthy was buried down along the inside from post 1. Jockey Rajiv Maragh was looking for a place to go entering the lane but was boxed in by the leaders.

When a hole along the inside opened, Maragh sent Bee Noteworthy to the rail, and she rallied past the leaders. Maragh had her geared down at the wire.

Maragh has ridden Bee Noteworthy in seven straight races.

“There seemed to be a few potential speed horses in there, and for our style, the faster the better," Maragh said. "It was an honest pace, and I just felt confident that if she showed her best run, she would be right there. She surpassed my expectations with such a big kick."

Frosty Margarita, who was last early, rallied to finish second, 2 1/4 lengths clear of third-place Bluegrass Jamboree. Wonderment finished a half-length farther back in fourth.

Riot Worthy, the 9-5 favorite, raced in fourth position early but had little left for the stretch run and finished fifth, beaten 14 1/2 lengths.