12/13/2008 12:00AM

Laragh keeps her cool in Starlet


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The surprise move that took several fillies out of contention on the backstretch of Saturday's $438,500 Hollywood Starlet Stakes made the outing even easier for pacesetter Laragh.

When contenders Dave's Revenge and Pamona Ball and the outsider Black Magic Mama made early wide moves on the backstretch, jockey Edgar Prado kept Laragh on the rail and in a comfortable stride. The result was a milestone win for Laragh, her first in a Grade 1 race.

Laragh ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.96, after setting early fractions of 23.83 and 47.02 seconds. Laragh led by two lengths on the final turn and won by a length over Wynning Ride. Toro Bonito was third in the field of seven 2-year-old fillies.

The tactics employed by the riders of Dave's Revenge, Pamona Ball, and Black Magic Mama cost their fillies. They finished in the last three positions. The move gave winning trainer John Terranova only a brief concern.

"When Pamona Ball made that move, [Laragh] jumped on the bridle and was a little keen after that," Terranova said. "That got her into the race a little earlier than expected, but it didn't seem to hurt her.

"When I saw the first quarter, I was happy. I knew she was fit enough."

Co-owned by IEAH Stables, Gary Tolchin, and Pegasus Holding Group Stables, Laragh has won 3 of 6 starts and $509,465.

Despite her win in the Grade 1 Starlet, Laragh is not the best 2-year-old filly owned by IEAH Stable. Last month, they bought Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Stardom Bound at auction for $5.7 million. Still, Laragh must be ranked among the leading 2-year-old fillies of 2009.

The Starlet was her second stakes win and first graded stakes win. She won the Jessamine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 9. In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 24, Laragh finished third as the 5-2 favorite. She led in the final furlong and finished a length behind Maram.