Coniah fired fresh in a big way at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon, comfortably taking the $100,690 Las Cienegas (G3) while snapping a streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes in stakes company.
Unraced since June 18, the five-year-old daughter of Harlington battled for the early lead down the firm hillside turf with Proper Discretion, and was in front after the opening quarter in :21.78. Easily clear by the time they passed over the main track after a half in :43.89, Coniah continued strongly to the wire to win by 1 3/4 lengths under Kent Desormeaux, who said afterward that the filly was “not even blowing.”
Timed in 1:12.17 for about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf, Coniah returned $6.40. It was the second win on the card for trainer Bill Morey, who entered the day with four wins from nine starters at the meet.
“She had trained real well,” said Morey about the mare returning from a lengthy spell.
Coniah ran second in the $84,000 Mizdirection, Monrovia (G2), and Desert Stormer (G3) last spring and summer. The latter race, on dirt, was won by Bendable, who rallied up the inside to edge longshot Princess Princess by a length for the place in the Las Cienegas in what was her first start on turf. Beau Recall, the slight 2-1 favorite over Coniah, was another three parts of a length behind in fourth.
A homebred racing for James and Tammy McKenney, Coniah was also stakes-placed three times in 2016, including thirds in the Raven Run (G2) and Rancho Bernardo H. (G3). After this belated first stakes win, her record now stands at 20-4-5-3, $295,365.
Bred in California, Coniah is out of the Lord at War mare Prettui Woman, making her a full sister to Grade 2 heroine Uzziel. Also hailing from this family are Grade 2 winners Looie Capote, Fast Catch, and Paulina’s Love.