04/09/2010 11:00PM

Touching Beauty takes Comely


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Jimmy Jerkens isn't convinced that one mile is going to ultimately be a distance at which Touching Beauty will excel. But in Saturday's it was ideal.

Benefiting from a perfect ride from Mike Luzzi and some major trouble for odds-on-favorite She'll Be Doggone in upper stretch, Touching Beauty scored a half-length victory over Speightful Affair in the Comely. It was another half-length to back to C.C.'s Pal in third. They were followed in the order of finish by Indian Burn, Volare Cantare, Anchorage, She'll Be Doggone, and Roman Chestnut.

She'll Be Doggone, the 4-5 favorite based on a 2-for-2 record entering the Comely, was checked severely and nearly fell down when Anchorage drifted in and closed an apparent hole at the three-sixteenths pole. She was lucky to escape injury.

Edgar Prado, the jockey of She'll Be Doggone, said "there was room" along the inside when he went to make his move. But, Anchorage, perhaps tiring after being pressed on the lead, drifted back over to the rail, sawing off She'll Be Doggone. "I hadn't even turned her loose yet," Prado said.

There was a stewards' inquiry into the incident, but no action was taken.

Luzzi had Touching Beauty outside of She'll Be Doggone and behind the dueling pacesetters Anchorage and Volare Cantare, who dueled heads apart through a half-mile in 47.40 seconds.

Luzzi tipped Touching Beauty three wide approaching the quarter pole and she took the lead leaving the three-sixteenths pole. With Luzzi remaining busy on his filly, Touching Beauty persevered to the wire through the final furlong. Touching Beauty, a 3-year-old daughter of Tapit owned by Gainesway Stable and Joe Cornacchia and trained by Jimmy Jerkens, covered the mile in 1:37.90 and returned $12.

"I thought if she was ever going to win going a mile now is the time," Jerkens said. "I still don't think she really likes it. They certainly weren't doing much running the last eighth of a mile. I was like 'God, hurry up wire.' "

Luzzi said he liked his position early on but moved earlier than he had planned because "I didn't want to get trapped," he said. "She just stayed there and she was just waiting for me to call on her; when I asked her she had a little horse and she finished up nice."