Friday, March 13, 2009

Cicada lures six last-out winners

Dave Litfin, Daily Racing Form 3/11/2009

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A field of six 3-year-old fillies, all of them last-out winners, entered Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct.

Dream Play, an eye-catching winner of the Dearly Precious Stakes, drew the rail for the six-furlong Cicada. Also entered, in post position order, were Daily Star, Heart Ashley, Purrfect Bluff, Love That Dance, and One Smokin' Lady.

The Cicada will be the ninth race on a 10-race card and the third leg of a $250,000 guaranteed late pick four that begins with race 7.

The guaranteed pick four has been a bright spot this winter, its handle increasing for each of the first four installments, capped by last week's total of $418,226.

* The key points of interest on Friday's program come in race 3, a $46,000 allowance for 3-year-old fillies, and race 5, a $45,000 starter handicap for older males at six furlongs.

Flashing, who had a troubled trip and finished off the board at 8-5 in the Busanda, drops to the first-level condition off a 62-day layoff and may be a lukewarm favorite over four rivals. Among them are Boleyn, who ran second in the Grade 2 Demoiselle and makes her seasonal bow, and Karakorum Fugitive, who won her first two starts against New York-breds for Jimmy Jerkens.

Executive Fleet drew post 5 in the starter handicap. He was second in last year's Grade 1 Carter, and has been idle for 10 months, since running sixth as the favorite in the Bold Ruler.

Lord Snowdon, whose last start at six furlongs was a win in the Paumonok last winter, drew the rail.

* Filly-and-mare sprinters get their first graded stakes opportunity of the New York season in next Saturday's $150,000 Distaff at six furlongs.

Among the 18 nominations are four trained by Todd Pletcher: Awesome Ashley, Distorted Passion, Game Face, and Spritely.

Other notables are multiple stakes winner By the Light; High Resolve, winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint; Royale Michele, winner of the Barbara Fritchie; and Darley Stable's pair of Seventh Street, a remarkable second in the Fritchie after rearing at the break, and Zada Belle, winner of the Interborough Handicap.

* Trainer John Candlin, having withdrawn his appeal, began serving a 30-day suspension Wednesday for a phenylbutazone positive for Kitty Nip, the first-place finisher in Belmont Park's second race last Sept. 13. Candlin's suspension runs through April 9.

Saturday March 14, 2009 - Race 9
Estimated Local Post Time: 4:50 PM
Name: Cicada S. Grade: 3
Purse: $100,000
Distance/Restrictions: 6 Furlongs, Dirt, F, 3 Year Olds, STAKES

Post Horse and Jockey/Trainer Odds*
1 Dream Play (KY )
Eddie Castro / Kiaran McLaughlin 7/5
2 Daily Star (KY )
Richard Migliore / John Terranova, II 10/1
3 Heart Ashley (KY )
Charles Lopez / Steven Asmussen 5/2
4 Purrfect Bluff (KY )
Channing Hill / Gary Contessa 6/1
5 Love That Dance (NJ )
Michael Luzzi / Benjamin Perkins, Jr. 5/1
6 One Smokin' Lady (KY )
Jose Flores / Robert Reid, Jr. 8/1

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