10/08/2008 11:00PM

Laragh dominates Jessamine at 11-1


LEXINGTON, Ky. - A race that appeared well-matched on paper quickly turned into a mismatch Thursday at Keeneland when Laragh, a newly purchased filly competing in the familiar colors of the IEAH Stables, captured the $150,000 Jessamine Stakes.

With Edgar Prado in from New York to ride, Laragh sped clear at the start of the Jessamine, a 1o1/16-mile turf race, and was never threatened, winning by 4o3/4 lengths. Laragh, a 2-year-old Tapit filly making her fourth start, earned an automatic berth into the Oct. 24 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf as winner of the last of 57 Win and You're In races in the 2008 BC Challenge series.

Laragh paid $25.20, and was timed in 1:43.54 over firm turf. Habaya, the 2-1 second choice, finished second, 1 1/2 lengths before Complicity in a field of 12. Abbott Hall, the 2-1 favorite, was another 2 3/4 lengths back in fourth.

"I was very happy with the way she was going down the backside," said Prado. "I liked the way she had another gear at the quarter pole."

Laragh has been with trainer John Terranova for about three weeks and was making her first start outside of Woodbine, where she began her career under Mark Casse. Terranova expressed concern about the 15-day period between the Jessamine and possibly running in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.

"Obviously, we'll see how she comes out of the race and talk it over with the owners," he said.

IEAH, the owner of Big Brown, Kip Deville, Benny the Bull, and other top horses, co-owns Laragh with the Golden Goose Enterprise LLC.

Ontrack attendance in perfect weather was 9,007.

Run Away and Hide faces retirement

Run Away and Hide likely will be retired after suffering a knee injury in an Oct. 1 workout over the Keeneland Polytrack, trainer Ronny Werner said Thursday.

"It's a real tough break for all of us," said Werner, who had hoped to run the unbeaten colt in the BC Juvenile. "The colt's already been operated on, and he's going to be fine, but it looks like he's done racing and headed off to stud."

Run Away and Hide, by City Zip, went 3 for 3 in his abbreviated career, winning a Keeneland maiden race in April, the Grade 3 Kentucky Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, and the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. He is owned by Ronald Kirk, John Bates, and Michael Riordan.

Cowboy Cal's first start since Derby

Cowboy Cal will make his first start since finishing ninth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby when he is part of a full field of 3-year-olds in the Sunday feature at Keeneland, the Grade 3 Bryan Station at a mile on turf.

Cowboy Cal entered the Derby off a second-place finish behind his Todd Pletcher stablemate Monba in the April 12 Blue Grass on the Keeneland Polytrack. Before that, Cowboy Cal excelled on the turf, winning the Laurel Futurity and Tropical Park Derby.

Pletcher has named John Velazquez - who has not ridden since suffering a concussion in a spill here last Friday - to ride Cowboy Cal in the Grade 3 Bryan Station, which is the eighth of nine Sunday races.

From the rail, the Bryan Station field is: Ready's Image, St. Joe, Nistle's Crunch, Cowboy Cal, Deal Making, Seaspeak, Big Stick, Stormy Ballad, Veiled Prophet, Mr Maccool, Coronel Moldes, and Montana Mike.

Tailgating expands

It's closely associated with football, not horseracing, but tailgating has grown exponentially in recent years outside the Keeneland gates. On any given weekend, large groups of people can be seen tailgating here, and the track has done little to discourage it.

In fact, a wagering tent, replete with mutuel windows and televisions, is available in a designated parking area to better accommodate tailgaters.

* The winningest trainer in the 24-year history of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is none other than John Veitch, currently the chief steward for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Veitch won the QE II three times, with Graceful Darby (1987), Love You by Heart (1988), and Plenty of Grace (1990).

* Anna Morgan Ford, who has overseen the training and adoption of more than 1,500 retired racehorses in Ohio, will be at Keeneland on Saturday and Sunday to sign copies of her new book, "Beyond the Track: Retraining the Thoroughbred from Racehorse to Riding Horse."