Updated on 09/18/2011 12:23AM

Laurel: Celestial Legend overcomes

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Celestial Legend (inside) nips Cantora in the final strides by a nose to win the $66,500 Wide Country Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday.

Celestial Legend showed in the $66,500 Wide Country Stakes at Laurel that she has the courage to go with her obvious talent, overcoming a rough trip to nip Cantora in the final strides and remain unbeaten in six starts.

On a fast track that had some surface moisture from snowfall, Celestial Legend and jockey Erick Rodriguez ceded the early lead in the one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies to Cantora. Sea Pines went up to prompt the pace after a quarter-mile, boxing Celestial Legend in along the rail. Rodriguez tried to shoot Celestial Legend through along the rail approaching the far turn, but Cantora accelerated and Celestial Legend remained boxed in. Cantora shook off Sea Pines in the stretch, but Celestial Legend took aim at her from along the inside. Rodriguez brought Celestial Legend through a small hole between Cantora and the rail, and they got up to win by a nose. Sea Pines held on for third.

Celestial Legend paid $2.40. She covered the one-turn mile in 1:41.53 after chasing Cantora through early fractions of 24.20 and 48.92 seconds.

For Kisses, Keep On, and Holly's Kid were scratched from the race, reducing the field to six.

Celestial Legend was running beyond seven furlongs for the first time on Saturday. Trainer Dale Capuano had said before the race that he would consider pointing her to the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks if she showed the ability to get the distance.