06/23/2008 11:00PM

Mauralakana wins New York battle

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Mauralakana wins a stretch duel with Dynaforce to take the New York Stakes by a neck Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - After watching two favorites in out-of-town stakes disappoint, trainer Christophe Clement had his spirits get a boost Saturday as Mauralakana outfinished a stubborn Dynaforce to win the Grade 2, $250,000 New York Stakes by a neck at Belmont Park.

Dynaforce, making her seasonal and North American debut and first for trainer Bill Mott, held second by a neck over the late-running Hostess. Tejida, the pacesetter, finished fourth followed by Archstone.

It was the third straight victory for Mauralakana and fourth from five starts this year. She is now 10 for 25 lifetime, and the $150,000 first-place purse pushed Mauralakana's career earnings to $1,013,012. She was purchased by Robert Scarborough late last year as a broodmare prospect to breed in Australia.

For Clement, Mauralakana's victory helped erase disappointing efforts by Rutherienne (third at 3-5) in the All Along at Colonial and Flying Dismount (sixth at 4-5) in the Charlie Barley at Woodbine.

Mauralakana was not as overpowering as she was in winning last month's Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay, but she proved that she could get in a tussle and still be effective. She was spotting the runner-up seven pounds.

Racing in fourth position and down on the inside through the early stages, Mauralakana was taken off the rail by Kent Desormeaux and put in the three path turning for home. She hooked up with Dynaforce in upper stretch and was able to outkick that one through a final quarter-mile in 23.31 seconds.

Mauralakana, a daughter of Muhtathir, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.31 and returned $3.30 as the 3-5 favorite.

"The ground's a little more glib than last time," Desormeaux said. "She kicked just as hard, unfortunately so did they. It turned into a fight, a battle, she kept going"

Clement felt that Mauralakana was not as settled in the New York as she was in the Sheepshead Bay, but said that the mare can be "a little tricky."

"I thought she was a touch stronger than I was expecting," Clement said. "She ran very well. I'm very happy. She doesn't get away, but if you look at the time they all finished."

Clement said Mauralakana will point to the $750,000 Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 9. After that, Clement said Scarborough will decide whether to breed her or point to a fall campaign that could include the Flower Bowl here and the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 24.