The Cicada, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, will be the fourth race on a 10-race card that will also feature the $100,000 Fred “Cappy” Capossela.
With an eye on Grade 1 races like the $300,000 Prioress and $500,000 Test at Saratoga Race Course in August, trainer Rudy Rodriguez decided to bypass Aqueduct’s Dearly Precious and await the Cicada with Agave Kiss.
“We just wanted keep her fresh,” said Rodriguez. “We thought about running her, but it’s a long year and hopefully this will be good for her. We think she’s growing, so we think this was a good thing to do. We like her a lot, so we’re going to treat her like a good horse. She looks good and we’re very, very happy with the way she is right now.”
Ryan Curatolo, regular rider for owner Flying Zee Stables, will ride Agave Kiss, the 3-5 morning-line favorite, in the Cicada. The tandem will leave from post position 2.
William J. Punk, Jr.’s Corderosa prevailed by 5 ¼ lengths at first asking at Aqueduct in December, then was third, beaten by 4 ¾ lengths by Agave Kiss, in the Ruthless. The David Donk trainee enters the race having finished second by a neck against three opponents in the Dearly Precious.
Junior Alvarado has the assignment aboard Corderosa, the 2-1 morning-line second choice, from post 5.
The field also includes Alydarla, second in the Madcap Escapade on turf at Gulfstream Park on February 12; Nitara, a four-length debut winner on February 5 at Aqueduct; and Princess Reyana, second in a claiming race on March 1 at the Big A.