Dill Or No Dill left no doubts as to who was best in the $81,475 Ruthless Stakes by winning the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies by 5 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct Jan. 6.
Dill Or No Dill was ridden by Ramon Dominguez, who swept Aqueduct’s weekend stakes. He also rode Giant Moon to victory in the Jan. 5 Count Fleet.
When the gates opened in the Ruthless, Dill Or No Dill, a daughter of Evansville Slew, surged to the early lead, and was pressed by Noble Fire for less than a quarter-mile. After a quarter-mile was run in a lively :22.18 seconds, Dill Or No Dill was racing in hand, on the lead. Carolyn’s Cat and Expect the End ranged up with menacing moves around the far turn, but Dominguez was full of horse, and Dill Or No Dill dominated throughout the stretch.
“I knew I had horse on the far turn, but the other horses came to us pretty quickly,” Dominguez said. “She just had an extra gear through the stretch.”
Carolyn’s Cat finished second and was followed under the wire by Home Crowd, who finished three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up.
Dill Or No Dill returned $6.20 as the slight favorite over Carolyn’s Cat and Expect the End. The exacta paid $24.40 and the trifecta returned $130.50. The winner completed the distance in 1:10.91 on the fast inner tack, which produced slow times throughout the card.
Dill Or No Dill is trained by Gary Contessa and owned by Winning Move Stable and Ravenwood Stable.
Contessa admitted he erred in running Dill Or No Dill, who was bred by Herbert M. Herbener Jr., in the Oct. 6 Frizette (gr.I); she finished a badly beaten seventh. She had been away from the races for two months following the Frizette, when she finished second in an overnight stakes, the Xtra Heat.
“I fried her brain running her in the Frizette; that was a big mistake,” Contessa said. “It took me a long time to get her speed back. When you do that to a young filly, you can screw her up. She really trained good going up to this race. This was the right kind of spot for her. We’ll keep her sprinting on the inner track.”
With her win in the Ruthless, Dill Or No Dill has a record of 3-1-1 from six starts, and earnings of $116,085.
Psycho D J and Expect the End completed the order of finish. Noble Fire was pulled up and vanned off the track.