06/10/2016 5:16PM

Kareena breezes to speedy win in Jersey Girl


ELMONT, N.Y. _ A year ago, Cavorting won the Jersey Girl Stakes at Belmont Park and two months later she triumphed in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin hopes that same scenario plays out with Kareena, who on Friday rolled to an eye-catching 6 1/4-length victory in the Jersey Girl at Belmont Park and will be aimed at the Test on Aug. 6 at Saratoga.

Kareena won the Jersey Girl in a fast time, but it depends on whose timer you trust as to just how fast. The New York Racing Association timed her six furlongs in 1:07.87, which would be just .21 seconds off a near 17-year-old track record. The final time according to Trakus is a more-believable 1:08.69.

“We’re still fast,” said Jimmy Bell, U.S. racing manager for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Stable, which owns Kareena.

Under Irad Ortiz Jr., Kareena broke a step to the right at the start, but quickly recovered and stalked the pace-setting Appealing Maggie until just above the eighth pole, before taking command.

“We went fast, but she was traveling perfect and she put me there,” Ortiz said. “I just rode her from the quarter pole to the wire. She’s very nice, the trainer has been telling me that and I trust him.”

Kareena, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the multiple graded stakes winner India, is now 2 for 3, with her lone loss coming to the undefeated Lightstream in a March 6 maiden race at Gulfstream Park. Kareena returned $2.60 as the 1-5 favorite in the Jersey Girl.

“We’re very happy because she’s very talented, well bred, does everything right, but it’s nice to get the black type,” McLaughlin said.

Asked if he thinks Kareena could be another Cavorting, McLaughlin said, “We would love that.”

Appealing Maggie finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over One True Kiss. She’s All Ready and Quick Release completed the order of finish. Off the Tracks was scratched to run in Saturday’s Grade 1 Acorn. Blip n’ Th Bye also scratched.