09/09/2006 12:00AM

Pletcher's No. 2 filly 'Magnificent'


ELMONT, N.Y. - Magnificent Song may be the second-best 3-year-old turf filly in Todd Pletcher's barn, but in Saturday's Grade 1 at Belmont Park she was second to none.

Her closing kick seemingly getting better with each race, Magnificent Song rallied from last to win the $250,000 Garden City by two lengths over Take the Ribbon. It was a half-length back to Jade Queen, who like Magnificent Song is trained by Pletcher.

Pletcher's top 3-year-old turf filly is Wait a While, who won the Grade 1 American Oaks in July and who could make her next start in either the Flower Bowl Invitational here or the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

Magnificent Song, meanwhile, won for the fourth time in her last five starts and the fifth time in nine career starts.

Under Garrett Gomez, Magnificent Song was last of 11 as Quite a Bride set strong fractions of 23.33 seconds, 47.16, and 1:11.91. Gomez guided Magnificent Song between horses around the turn, but had to wait behind Jade Queen, under John Velazquez at the quarter pole.

Turning for home, Gomez got Magnificent Song to the outside and she came with a powerful run to sweep past Take the Ribbon, who under Julien Leparoux had taken the lead in midstretch.

Magnificent Song, a daughter of Unbridled's Song owned by L and D Farm, covered the 1 1/8 miles over good turf in 1:48.48 and returned $7.70 as the favorite.

"The idea today was to be a little bit closer but so was everybody else's," Gomez said. "So I let her do as much as she could do early on without making her stay any closer. As the race progressed she put me where I needed to be and it made my job easy."

Said Pletcher: "The more she's gotten to settle early on the better she's come with her closing kick."

Pletcher said Magnificent Song could run back in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 14.