04/11/2009 12:00AM

Dream Play controls pace in Comely


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Up until entry time Wednesday, the connections of Dream Play were still wrestling with whether or not to run their 3-year-old filly in Saturday's Grade 2 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct.

After post time Saturday, there was no question they made the right decision to run.

After breaking a step slowly - which she often does - Dream Play sped to the front and kept right on going as she splashed her way to a 5 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Comely at sloppy Aqueduct.

Don't Forget Gil finished second by a half-length over Holdontoyourdream. Subprime and Laragh completed the order of finish. Platinum Girl scratched.

It was the third victory from five career starts for Dream Play, who in February won the Dearly Precious by 8 1/4 lengths over the inner track at six furlongs. The Comely, run at one mile, was Dream Play's first start beyond six furlongs.

"We were looking at the past performances right up until entry time just trying to figure out how we would figure the first half of the race," said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "When it looked like we might be in front by ourselves, we decided to go in. It worked out well."

Under Eddie Castro, Dream Play rushed to the front and opened up a 1 1/2-length lead after running a quarter in 23.77 seconds. She maintained that margin over a stalking Laragh through a half-mile in 48.16.

Dream Play began to widen her margin around the far turn and she continued on with Castro going left-handed three times and right-handed once in the stretch as she came home an easy winner. Dream Play, a daughter of Hennessy owned by Stewart Armstrong, covered the mile in 1:39.51 and returned $6 as the favorite among a trio of 2-1 shots.

Magnuson said Dream Play would likely point to the Acorn at Belmont on June 6. The Nassau County on May 2 is a possibility.

The connections of Laragh were hoping to use the Grade 1 Comely as a prep for the Kentucky Oaks. But after her last-place finish, she is most likely headed back to turf or synthetic surfaces.

Ramon Dominguez, who rode Laragh, told trainer John Terranova that Laragh struggled with the slop on Saturday.