INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 13, 2008) — Laragh, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in her previous start, shifted to Cushion Track and was in complete control as she scored a front-running victory under jockey Edgar Prado in Saturday’s $438,500 Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park.

Laragh broke on top under Prado, was briefly challenged when a trio led by Pamona Ball challenged her heading into the backstretch, but quickly re-established her position. She cruised down the backstretch, opened up on the turn for home, and was not seriously threatened in the stretch while posting a one-length victory over Wynning Ride in a time of 1:41.96 for 1 1/16 miles.

"I was the speed of the race and got to go nice and easy,” Prado said. “The first quarter was very comfortable and I guess they didn't want me going any slower than that, so they went after me early. My filly got a little strong, so instead of fighting her, I let her run along. My filly's still in the process of learning. Once she learns to relax without fighting, she's going to be even better."

Laragh, owned by IEAH Stables, Gary Tolchin and Pegasus Holding Group Stables, won for the third time in six starts. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit had run three consecutive races on turf since breaking her maiden in her second start on a synthetic surface at Woodbine in Canada. A start prior to the Breeders’ Cup, she won the Jessamine Stakes on turf at Keeneland.

“The first quarter it looked like we were going to be relaxed and cruising out there,” trainer John Terranova II said. “When Pamona Ball made that early move on the outside, she jumped on the bridle right then. She was a little keen after that, it got her in the race on the bridle a little earlier than expected, but it didn’t seem to bother her at the end. I don’t think distance is going to be a problem with her.”

Laragh returned to the East following the Breeders’ Cup and made her second coast-to-coast trip to run in the Grade I Starlet. The winner’s share of $263,100 boosted her earnings to $509,465.

“She’s a real classy, talented filly and I think over time and natural maturity she’ll be able to relax a little bit,” Terranova added. “She’s pretty game. Right now she’s going to get a nice break, no real plans yet. We’re going to be hopefully pulling for the Kentucky Oaks, which will be our main goal.”

Laragh, favored in the field of seven 2-year-old fillies, paid $5.40, $3.80 and $3.40. Wynning Ride, a 12-1 shot with Joe Talamo up, returned $8.40 and $4.80. Her stablemate, Toro Bonito, ridden by David Flores, paid $6.20 to show.

Bob Baffert, trainer of the second and third-place finishers, saluted the winner.

"We all wanted to win, but we feel they're improving,” he said. “They ran well, but we got beat by a nice filly."


Jockey Quotes

EDGAR PRADO, LARAGH, Winner: "I was the speed of the race and got to go nice and easy. The first quarter was very comfortable and I guess they didn't want me going any slower than that so they went after me early. My filly got a little strong so instead of fighting her I let her run along. My filly's still in the process of learning. Once she learns to relax without fighting, she's going to be even better."

JOE TALAMO, WYNNING RIDE, Second: "She had a perfect trip, couldn't have asked for anything better. She ran great for her first time in a Grade I and her first time around two turns. I don't know why everyone was moving so early, but I was smiling. I got right down to the rail."

DAVID FLORES, TORO BONITO, Third: "I was expecting a couple of speeds, maybe the two and three. But boy, I don't know, all of a sudden Desormeaux was sending and everybody on the outside was sending. I was in the one-hole just watching what everybody was doing. My filly made a good run. She ran her race."


Trainer Quotes

JOHN P. TERRANOVA II, LARAGH, Winner: “The first quarter it looked like we were going to be relaxed and cruising out there. When Pamona Ball made that early move on the outside, she jumped on the bridle right then. She was a little keen after that, it got her in the race on the bridle a little earlier than expected, but it didn’t seem to bother her at the end. I don’t think distance is going to be a problem with her. She’s a real classy, talented filly and I think over time and natural maturity she’ll be able to relax a little bit. She’s pretty game. She’s a filly who knows where she wants to be in the race and when she feels somebody coming up on her, she’ll jump up on that bridle. Right now she’s going to get a nice break, no real plans yet. We’re going to be hopefully pulling for the Kentucky Oaks, which will be our main goal.”

BOB BAFFERT, WYNNING RIDE, Second, TORO BONITO, Third: "We all wanted to win but we feel they're improving. They ran well, but we got beat by a nice filly."