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Published:Monday | May 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Maragh lands Belmont feature

BELMONT, New York (CMC):

Jamaican jockey Rajiv Maragh produced a strong stretch run aboard 5-1 chance Celestine to take the US$100,000 Wait A While Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday. Going seven furlongs for three-year-old fillies, Maragh stalked from just off the pace with the dark bay horse in the early stages before rushing up the rails, grabbing the lead approaching the 16th pole and getting to the wire 1-1/2 lengths.

Celestine completed the trip in a time of one minute, 21.06 seconds for her second added-money career score, following her success in the Sanibel Island Stakes last March. Maragh praised the filly's versatility following the victory, which was one of two on the 12-race card for the 29-year-old reinsman.

"Not only is she super-talented, but also versatile. She can adapt to any scenario, and I think it's going to bode well for her going forward," Maragh pointed out.

"Her mile race last time (Sanibel Island Stakes), she was extremely impressive. She finished up strong, and it seemed like she can go further. But she also won going five (furlongs), so that's another thing about her - she's so versatile."

Maragh's second win came in the $62,000 race eight over a mile and 16th when he carried the favourite, Dreaming as Always, to a handsome win by 2-3/4 lengths.

James beats Merritt again


Olympic champion Kirani James beat reigning World title-holder Lashawn Merritt in the 400 metres for the second time this year at the Shanghai Diamond League yesterday.

The 22-year-old Grenadian, himself a former World champion, clocked 44.66 seconds to outrun World silver medallist, Tony McQuay of the United States, who clocked 45.54, and Merritt, who trailed in third in 45.58.

Only last month, James beat Merritt into fifth at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, en route to a world-leading 44.22.

"This is my second time competing in the Diamond League Shanghai, and also my second win," James said afterwards. "It's always a great atmosphere and a great field. It was very tough, but I am very happy."