Habaya picked up her first graded stakes victory for owner Shadwell Farm in today's Miesque Stakes for two-year-old fillies at one mile on the turf. The Miesque is the first of six graded stakes in the Hollywood Park Turf Festival and will be followed up by the Grade 1 Citation today, the Grade 3 Hollywood Turf Express and Grade 3 Generous Stakes Saturday, and the Matriarch Stakes and Hollywood Derby, both Grade 1, on Sunday.
Coming off a 6-week rest, Habaya was ridden by Richard Migliore, who has been aboard on all three of her starts. Following today's race, Migliore said, "Today was the best trip she's had of her two starts." Habaya defeated maidens in her debut at Belmont Park on Sept. 25, then was second in the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9 to Laragh, who subsequently ran third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Habaya, decided to pass up the Breeders' Cup.
Representing Kieran McLaughlin today at Hollywood Park was his brother Neil, who commented, "Hopefully she'll be coming back out here for the American Oaks, because she looks like she wants to go a little further." The Grade 1 American Oaks, a 1-1/4 mile turf test for 3-year-old fillies, will most likely be part of the 4th of July weekend card during the Hollywood Park Spring/Summer meet.
Habaya is by Storm Cat and is out of the Eclipse Award-winning turf mare Golden Apples. She paid $6.80, $4.20, and $3.20. Finishing second and third were Internallyflawless and Eloquently.