Horse Racing

Defining Purpose, Julia Shining Head Big A’s Comely

The $200,000 Comely Stakes (G3), for 3-year-old fillies going nine furlongs, drew a field of eight Nov. 25 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Katsumi Yoshida’s Defining Purpose  is one of two Kenny McPeek-trained fillies entered and offers the conditioner his best chance of finding the winner’s circle.

The Ashland Stakes (G1) winner was runner-up in the Oct. 28 Mother Goose (G2) during the Belmont at the Big A meet and makes her second start over the local surface Saturday.

Defining Purpose, boasting a 4-1-2 record from 12 starts, is approaching $1 million in career earnings and is the lone filly in the field having cracked a 100 Equibase Speed Figure twice.

McPeek is bullish on Defining Purpose’s chances.

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“The Comely is an ideal spot for her [Defining Purpose]. She ran well there last time, the winner [Zigera] looks like a pretty special filly,” McPeek said. “We were thrilled to see her get the grade 1 win at Keeneland and hopefully she can add this to her resume.”

McPeek’s other filly, Corningstone , bred by Deann and Greg Baer, comes off a one-length open allowance score Oct. 27, going nine furlongs at Keeneland.

Main Contenders

The prime threat to Defining Purpose appears to be Stonestreet Stables’ Kentucky homebred Julia Shining  for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. The grade 2-winning filly was a wide closing fourth 3 3/4 lengths behind Defining Purpose in the Mother Goose. This daughter of Curlin  , out of the grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia, is a full-sister to dual Eclipse Award Champion Malathaat. She’s proven over the track and distance having won the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle (G2) last December.

Pletcher is a two-time Comely-winning trainer having scored with the Bernardini filly Bellera in 2019 and with Broadway’s Alibi—a daughter of Vindication—back in 2012.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown saddles Alpha Delta Stable’s Kentucky homebred Raging Sea  following a first-level allowance score Oct. 20 at Keeneland. She finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last year.

A longshot that’s not without a chance is R T Racing’s Just Katherine . The Kentucky-bred daughter of Justify   had a wide excusable trip over the Parx Racing sloppy going when finishing seventh in the grade 1 Cotillion Stakes Sept. 23, and ran well in back-to-back tries this summer at Saratoga including a win at nine furlongs Sept. 4.

Entries: Comely S. (G3)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, November 25, 2023, Race 9

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 3:43 PM (local)



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