03/10/2012 4:18PM

Laurel: Bold Affair outsprints competition in Conniver

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Abel Castellano Jr. guides Bold Affair to an easy wire-to-wire victory in the Conniver.

The two previous times in stakes that Bold Affair broke from the rail in stakes, she failed to give her best effort.

“Ramon Dominguez rode her in the Miss Preakness,” recalled Mike Zanella, the co-owner and co-breeder of Bold Affair with Chip Reed. “He said she simply would not go through on the inside and she would up third. The same thing happened in the Dearly Precious. She doesn’t like it down there on the inside.”

Any fears about breaking from the rail again in Saturday’s $75,000 Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park quickly vanished when Bold Affair ($4.60) shot out to an uncontested early lead and jockey Abel Castellano Jr. steered her a couple paths away from the rail. Bold Affair was never seriously threatened en route to her second career stakes win in the seven-furlong Conniver as she romped by 6 1/2  lengths over runner-up Baltimore Belle, the 9-5 second choice in a field of 10 Maryland-bred fillies and mares.

Castellano said his instructions from trainer Howard Wolfendale were simple.

“If we break, go outside,” Castellano said. “She broke well and nobody was coming after us. On the backside she was pretty relaxed and when we got to the stretch, she took off. I had plenty of horse.”

Facing Maryland-breds for the first time in her nine-race career, Bold Affair, a 4-year-old daughter of Two Punch, ran the seven furlongs in 1:23.74. Her fifth lifetime win came following a dull fifth in the Interborough at Aqueduct and a runner-up performance facing high-priced optional claimers in which the horse she beat out for second by a head, Magical Feeling, came back to upset the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

Reed said the filly simply did not like running over Aqueduct’s inner track.

“We took her took to New York for what we thought was a good spot, but she didn’t like the inner track at all,” Reed said.

The two biggest wins of Bold Affair’s career, in last summer’s $200,000 Jostle at Parx and Saturday’s Conniver, have come in sprints at either 6 1/2 or seven furlongs. Reed said that’s probably as far as she wants to run.

“I think seven furlongs might be her max,” Reed said.