10/24/2010 4:30PM

Casablanca Smile breaks through in Dowager

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Coady Photography/Keeneland
Casablanca Smile and Javier Castellano cruise in the Dowager at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Casablanca Smile posted her first victory in North America, controlling all the pace Sunday in the 19th running of the $125,000 Dowager Stakes at Keeneland.

With Javier Castellano riding for trainer Shug McGaughey, Casablanca Smile took early command from Speak Easy Gal and was never seriously threatened throughout the 1 1/2-mile turf race, winning by seven lengths over late-closing Sweet and Flawless. Speak Easy Gal, the expected front-runner under Elvis Trujillo and the 2-1 second choice, chased the winner much of the way before fading to third, another 1 3/4 lengths back.

Casablanca Smile returned $4.80 as favorite in a field of six fillies and mares after finishing in 2:33.70 over a firm turf.

Casablanca Smile, a Chilean-bred 4-year-old, was a standout in her homeland, winning three Group 1 events, including the Chilean Derby and Oaks, before being privately purchased by the Green Hills Farm of Leo Liaskos. She was making her fourth start in the United States in her dominating score Sunday.

Dyani, Emerald Beech, and Restless Soul completed the Dowager order.