Updated on 09/18/2011 2:39AM

Magnolia Jackson outduels Stormy Kiss


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Gary Contessa insists Magnolia Jackson is a better horse when she can rate. She's not too shabby on the front end either.

In a scratch-reduced field of four in Saturday's $69,825 Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct, Magnolia Jackson, under Ramon Dominguez, used her speed to duel with Stormy Kiss for three furlongs before putting that one away turning for home and drawing off for a two-length victory. Longshot Pleasant Laughter rallied from last to be second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Stormy Kiss. Notimetoquit, who stumbled at the break, finished last.

The race scratched down to four after Career Oriented was withdrawn by trainer Joe Orseno and Getycozywithkaylee was scratched by the track veterinarian in the paddock after her stifle locked up.

The scratch of Getcozywithcaylee left Stormy Kiss as the potential lone speed under Eibar Coa. But since Magnolia Jackson has won on the front end before, adjusting her running style for this race was not difficult.

"When that horse scratched we realized Coa could be lone speed, but Ramon said to me 'Don't worry, Gary. If he's the only speed, she'll take me there,' and sure enough she did. She's just a great filly. She almost senses pace."

Magnolia Jackson, a New York-bred daughter of Cape Canaveral owned by Ted Taylor, covered the six furlongs in 1:11.85 and returned $4.10 as the slight favorite over Stormy Kiss.

It was the ninth victory from 14 career starts for Magnolia Jackson and her fourth from five starts over the inner track. She will be pointed to the Interborough Handicap on New Year's Day.

The win was the fourth on the card for Dominguez, who through the first four days of the inner track meet won 8 races from 28 mounts. Contessa, last year's leading trainer on the inner track, has gone 7 for 27 to start the winter meet.

* Contessa and Dominguez also teamed to win the $67,250 Coyote Lakes Stakes with Successful Affair ($10), who swept past Angelic Aura and Malibu Moonshine at the quarter pole and drew clear in the stretch for a two-length victory. Angelic Aura, who set the early pace, did well to be second, a neck in front of Win With Beck.

Successful Affair, owned by Winning Move Stable, covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:32.88 and will run back in the $65,000 Gallant Fox Handicap at 1 5/8 miles on Dec. 30.