08/08/2008 11:00PM

Red-hot Mauralakana adds Beverly D.


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Mauralakana continued her rise to the top of the filly-mare turf division when getting a textbook trip under Kent Desormeaux and giving trainer Christophe Clement a record third victory in the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Always in perfect position when sitting a few lengths behind Dreaming of Anna and her closest pursuer, Precious Kitten, Mauralakana began creeping closer from the outside - and after turning for home, she was all set. Desormeaux asked for her best, and the 5-year-old mare quickly spurted clear, opening up in midstretch to finish 1 1/4 lengths before Communique in a field of nine fillies and mares.

"This filly just lays it down," said Desormeaux, who won the 1992 Beverly D. with Kostroma. "She gave me a lot of confidence the last couple times I rode her. You give her something to catch, and she goes and gets them."

Mauralakana, a French-bred by Muhtathir, returned $6.80 as second choice after finishing 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.18 over a firm turf.

Communique, ridden by Rene Douglas, rallied late to get second, another three-quarters of a length before Toque de Queda, a 53-1 shot. Dreaming of Anna was fourth, while Precious Kitten, the 9-5 favorite under Rafael Bejarano, faded to fifth.

Precious Kitten, said Bejarano, "was in a perfect position. She just couldn't get the distance."

Mauralakana has never been in better form, having won 4 of her 5 previous races since being turned over to Clement after her former trainer, Patrick Biancone, was suspended last fall for a medication infraction. The mare was coming off back-to-back wins in the Sheepshead Bay Handicap and New York Stakes, both Grade 2 races at Belmont Park with Desormeaux riding. She earned $436,500 Saturday, lifting her career bankroll to $1,449,512.

Mauralakana is owned by Robert Scarborough, an Australian native and resident who said the mare will be pointed to the Oct. 24 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita. Mauralakana's Beverly D. victory earned her a guaranteed Win and You're In berth in the race.

By winning the 19th Beverly D., Clement set a record for most wins in the race by a trainer, with three. He previously won in 2001 with England's Legend and last year with Royal Highness.