Updated on 09/17/2011 12:43PM

Volga gets a perfect trip

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Jean Raftery
Jockey Richard Migliore guides Volga to victory in the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder during Grand Slam II on Saturday.

MIAMI - Volga closed her 2003 campaign in spectacular fashion, drawing away to a surprisingly easy 2 3/4-length victory over Lady Annaliese and a strong field of 11 fillies and mares in Saturday's $200,000 at Calder. The race was marred when Spice Island clipped heels and fell six furlongs into the 1 1/2-mile stakes.

Volga, who joined trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's barn less than two weeks before winning the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine on Oct. 19, enjoyed a perfect trip under jockey Richard Migliore. Rating just off the early pace of 151-1 shot Victory Snit, Volga vied for the lead entering the stretch the final time, edged clear approaching the eighth pole, and increased her advantage under strong handling.

Lady Annaliese, sent off at 3-1, as were Volga and Spice Island, had to steady approaching the final turn, continued to lack room into the stretch, then finished with a strong burst once clear on the hedge to finish second. Defending champion New Economy finished sixth after racing wide into the stretch.

Spice Island brought a three-race win streak into the La Prevoyante and defeated Volga when they last met in the Long Island Handicap. Neither Spice Island nor jockey Cornelio Velasquez appeared seriously injured as a result of the spill, which occurred as they entered the second turn of the three-turn race.

Volga, a 5-year-old daughter of Caerleon and Verveine, covered the distance in 2:26.13 over a firm course and returned $8.20 as the 119-pound highweight. The $120,000 winner's share of the purse increased her

2003 earnings to more than $730,000 for owner Joe Allen and pushed her career earnings above the $1.1 million mark.

"She's a top filly and I just try to keep her healthy and happy," said McLaughlin. "Chris [Clement] did a great job leading up to the E.P. Taylor. She won that race off his training. Today she ran an even better race. And Richard [Migliore] rides her so well."