04/22/2005 11:00PM

Pleasant Home wins a stakes in first try

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Pleasant Home gave Shug McGaughey another weapon in the distaff division as she rallied from well off the pace to win Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 by 5 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct.

Traci Girl, part of a solid early pace, held second by three-quarters of a length over Cativa. Actcellent, Bank Audit, Childress, and Spectacular Moon completed the order of finish.

It was the first stakes win for Pleasant Home, a 4-year-old full sister to Country Hideaway, who won this race in 2001. She is owned by the Phipps family and trained by Shug McGaughey.

Pleasant Home, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, was making her stakes debut after winning a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream on

March 27. McGaughey said he felt the circumstances were right to run her in the Bed o' Roses.

"The jock kept telling me she was a pretty good filly, so I thought it was worth taking a shot," McGaughey said. "I knew Cativa and Bank Audit would be in there, but I don't know how far they want to run and when it came up with some more speed in there that helped us too."

Cativa, who won the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie, dueled early with Traci Girl through splits of 22.84 seconds and 45.17. Pleasant Home launched her bid around the far turn and zipped past Tracy Girl in midstretch. Though Pleasant Home failed to change leads, she drew off through the lane. Pleasant Home covered the one mile in 1:36.72 over a "good" main track and returned $19.60 to win.

"She's just a hard-nosed filly who gives it her all every time," McGaughey said. "I'm tickled to death to see her win a stakes."

Edgar Prado, the rider of even-money favorite Cativa, said his mare didn't feel comfortable racing down on the inside.

Pleasant Home adds to McGaughey's list of distaffers, which includes Daydreaming and Strategy. The trick for McGaughey will be keeping the three apart. McGaughey said Pleasant Home or Strategy could run in the Pimlico Distaff on May 20. Daydreaming is pointing to the Shuvee on May 21.