03/07/2009 12:00AM

Saarlight guts out win in Wide Country

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Saarlight did all the work Saturday in the $50,000 Wide Country Stakes at Laurel, and her reward was a one-length victory over Strut the Canary in the seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies.

Saarlight, under Raymundo Fuentes, joined a three-way speed duel down the backstretch. She put away Don'tgetsuspicious and Fondant through fractions of 22.18 and 44.84, kicked away heading into the stretch, then held off a late run from Strut the Canary. The victory was the first for Saarlight, a daughter of Saarland who had finished second in an Aqueduct maiden race in her only other start.

Owned by Cam Allard and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Saarlight covered the distance in 1:22.78 and returned $5.60 as the favorite. Strut the Canary, the 2-1 second choice in the field of eight, got a perfect setup, coming up the rail into the stretch and taking dead aim on Saarlight with a furlong to run. Haley's Lolipop finished third.