06/01/2013 3:56PM

Belmont Park: Shakeira rallies wide to capture Mount Vernon Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Shakeira wins the $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes by a neck over Inimitable Romance.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Shakeira, who continues to improve with experience, earned her first stakes victory and did it impressively Saturday at Belmont Park, overcoming a wide trip to register a well-earned neck decision over Inimitable Romance in the $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes.

Shakeira, a former claimer, finished second behind the odds-on Hessonite making her only previous stakes start here last fall in the Ticonderoga. She was forced to rally widest turning for home under jockey Rajiv Maragh in the one-mile Mount Vernon, finishing resolutely down the center of the course under strong handling to overtake Inimitable Romanee nearing the wire. The latter moved up three wide into the stretch to wrest control, edged clear at midstretch, but could not resist the winner’s final surge.

Elusive Rumour weakened late after forcing the early issue, finishing another 2 1/2 lengths further back in third.

Shakeira, a 5-year-old daughter of Freud, has won both her starts this season after being given the winter off by trainer Chad Brown. She is owned by Michael Dubb in partnership with Bethlehem Stables.  Shakeira covered the distance in 1:35.75 over a firm course and paid $3.70.

“When you have a New York-bred turf horse it pretty much eliminates the winter, so you’re forced to be patient,” Brown said. “She’s a super consistent filly as you see. She always fires for you. Right now, I have nothing planned for her, although she does appreciate a little spacing between her races. She’s a restricted stakes winner, so we might venture outside New York-breds now that she’s 5.”