09/28/2007 11:00PM

Lahudood slips through on the inside

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin thought he lost his best chance to have a runner in this year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf when Makderah suffered a cracked hind pastern in early September.

But her owner, Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, always thought Lahudood was the better of the two 4-year-old fillies that he sent McLaughlin earlier this year.

Lahudood proved Sheikh Hamdan correct as she rallied powerfully along the rail in the stretch under Alan Garcia to record a three-quarter-length victory over pacesetting Rosinka in the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl at Belmont Park. It was a half-length back to 4-5 favorite Wait a While in third. Sent off at 21-1 in a field of nine, Lahudood returned $44.40.

The victory most likely earned Lahudood a start in the $2 million BC Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27. Lahudood, a daughter of Singspiel, would have to be supplemented for a fee of $180,000.

"Sheikh Hamdan kept telling me this is the better one," McLaughlin said. "On her European form, she was the better one - we just hadn't seen it yet. This is the first time everything went perfect for her. She wants to be covered up and make a run on firm ground."

Garcia, who turns 22 on Tuesday, earned his first career Grade 1 victory in the Flower Bowl with a flawless ride.

Garcia kept Lahudood in third position behind Rosinka, who set the pace while being pressed from the outside by Wait a While. Garcia waited patiently before deciding whether to go outside or inside in the stretch, but then shot through an opening along the inside of Roskina to get the victory. Her final time of 1:59.05 is a stakes record for the 1 1/4-mile distance, eclipsing the mark of 1:59.33 set by Auntie Mame in 1998.

Lahudood was coming off a last-place finish in the Beverly D. at Arlington, but that race was run on soft ground. Though Sheikh Hamdan told McLaughlin to throw the race out, the trainer still didn't expect to beat the stellar field assembled for the Flower Bowl.

"I didn't think we had a chance to win," McLaughlin said.

Garrett Gomez, the rider of Wait a While, said his filly was traveling comfortably down the backside, "but when it came to run she just didn't jump into the bridle like she had last time or like she did all last year."

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Wait a While would still be pointed to the Filly and Mare Turf.

Graham Motion, trainer of Rosinka, said the Breeders' Cup is possible, although she, too, would have to be supplemented for $180,000.