And so she did.
The 5-year-old French-bred mare tracked easily behind Tejida, Dynaforce and Archstone, comfortably rating on the inside through a pace of 24.34, 49.61 and 1:13.86 with the rail out nine feet on the firm course.
As they reached the quarter-pole Archstone back up, creating room for Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeax to tip Mauralakana outside, where she could show off her turn of foot and end the race.
It was, however, not as simple a win as it looked.
While she grabbed the lead easily enough, Mauralakana didn’t run away from the competition as she had in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay here last month. Rather, she had to dig in to defeat Dynaforce by a neck in 2:01.31, with Hostess arriving on the scene late to be another neck back in third.
“We got a little spoiled because last time she won by three lengths,” said winning trainer Christophe Clement. “Today, she won the race in a matter of strides. Kent (Desormeaux) knows her well and rides her with a lot of confidence. The others finished well.”
Mauralakana improved her career record to 10-3-3 from 25 starts, and the $150,000 winners’ purse put her career earnings over $1 million. She returned $3.30 to win, and has now won three straight and four of her last five starts.
“The ground is a little more glib than last time,” Desormeaux said. “She kicked just as hard; unfortunately, so did they. It turned into a fight, a battle, and she kept going. She’s something else, man. She lets the rider know when she’s ready to go. It’s not ridiculous pull but she’s on the bridle. She’s well-trained.”
Tejida and Archstone trailed, while Spring Waltz, entered for the main track only, was scratched.