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Elghayoor makes some noise in Cicada
Elghayoor ran down 1-2 favorite Highestmaintenance and I'm Mom's Favorite to take Saturday's $100,000 Cicada at Aqueduct by a half-length. In the process, the dark bay daughter of Ghostzapper earned 50 points toward a starting berth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 3 via the new Oaks point system.
Settled three wide down the backstretch by jockey Eddie Castro, Elghayoor was content to bide her time as I'm Mom's Favorite and Highestmaintenance battled it out on the front end through splits of :22 2/5 and :45 1/5.
She began moving up as those two ran in tandem around the turn, eventually drawing even before pulling away to finish six furlongs over the fast inner dirt in 1:09 4/5 while racing straight into the snow enriched wind.
Elghayoor paid $14.20, $4.40 and $2.50 as the 6-1 third pick in the six-filly field. Highestmaintenance lost the war but won the battle from I'm Mom's Favorite, holding the 5-2 second choice to third by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire. Railtown Girl was another four lengths behind in fourth while Kiss the Lady and Sense of Reality completed the order of finish following the scratch of Disco Barbie.
Elghayoor is now two-for-two in stakes, having previously taken the Dearly Precious by a half-length on February 17 in her season opener at Aqueduct. The Shadwell homebred broke her maiden in that contest after posting a pair of runner-up efforts at the Big A in November and December. She now boasts 4-2-2-0 career mark and nearly doubled her lifetime earnings to $129,800.
"Good run, huh? Standing here right now, I kind of think that was a step up again," said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "She has trained very well between (the Dearly Precious and Cicada), but you can't tell that until you run. It looked pretty tough on paper. I was surprised and a little happy there was (some speed) up front. It helped, absolutely."
The Kentucky-bred Elghayoor is the first stakes winner out of the Gone West mare Hazimah, who was winless in six career starts. Hazimah is herself a daughter of Group 3-placed multiple stakes victress Elrafa Ah, making her a half-sister to English highweight, Group 1 winner and sire Mujahid.
One can also find last month's Grade 1 Donn Handicap winner Graydar, dual Grade 1 hero Ron the Greek and, a farther back, juvenile champion Silent Screen in this female family.