11/29/2014 3:20PM

Snowbell draws off in Comely Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Snowbell, ridden by Luis Saez, scores by 2 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes on Saturday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Speed was king at Aqueduct on Saturday, and jockey Luis Saez took full advantage by putting Snowbell on the lead in the $400,000 Comely Stakes. The result was a 2 1/4-length win for the Godolphin-owned and -bred daughter of Tapit.

Snowbell, part of a favored three-horse Godolphin entry, was allowed to set her own pace after making the front, with 2-1 second choice Dame Dorothy content to stalk. Snowbell clicked off fractions of 25.02 seconds, 50.97, and 1:16.22 over the fast track, turned back a bid from Dame Dorothy in upper stretch, and drew away.

The Grade 3 win was the first in a stakes for Snowbell, who is coming along quickly for trainer Tom Albertrani after taking a while to find herself at the beginning of her career. It took Snowbell five starts over a year's time to win her maiden, but she has now won three of her last four starts.

"She had some minor issues, nothing serious, early in her career," Albertrani said by phone after the race. "Now that she is over her immaturity, she is improving. Stretching her out has also helped."

Albertrani said he didn't have any definite plans for Snowbell and would discuss different options with the Godolphin team in the coming days. One possibility would be for Snowbell to winter in Florida.

Snowbell completed the 1 1/8 miles of the Comely in 1:52.59 following a mile in 1:40.37. The Godolphin entry paid $5.70 to win in the eight-horse field.

Shayjolie saved ground in the second flight behind Dame Dorothy early, swung out for the drive, and outfinished Dame Dorothy for the place by a neck. Penwith, part of the Godolphin entry, was fourth, 3 1/2 lengths behind Dame Dorothy.

Saez confirmed after the race that he realized speed was good at Aqueduct on Saturday.

"I know she likes the front, and the only other speed was part of the entry," he said. "At the half-mile pole, I knew I still had a lot of horse."

Jimmy Bell, Godolphin's racing manager, was on hand for the race and obviously pleased with the victory.

"She's a very attractive filly by one of the hottest sires around and from a great female family," Bell said. "She is a great broodmare prospect for Godolphin."

Snowbell is by Tapit out of the mare Burmilla, who won the Grade 2 Honorable Miss in 2007 at Saratoga for Godolphin. Her second dam is Nannerl, a five-time stakes winner who raced from 1991-94. In addition to Burmilla, she has produced Magicalmysterycat, a four-time stakes winner, and Tsumujikaze, a winner of more than $1 million in Japan.

The third part of the Goldolphin entry was Divided Attention. Penwith and Divided Attention are trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.