Stewart Armstrong’s Five Star Daydream is at the front of the line of horses trickling up from Florida to return to their New York base for the rest of the year. In Saturday’s 15th running of the $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs at Aqueduct, the Five Star Dayfilly will try for her fourth career victory against a quick group of contenders.
Five Star Daydream rattled off three consecutive wins last year, including the restricted Hot Milk Stakes in October. Her final start of 2006 came in the Tempted Stakes (gr. III), when third as the favorite going a mile.
Shug McGaughey, the Hall of Fame trainer of Five Star Daydream, says he is confident the filly will be competitive in distance races and that the Tempted is not a true barometer of her ability in routes.
“The Tempted was supposed to be run the Sunday before it was actually run,” said McGaughey, noting a five-day gap in between the card that was cancelled after the first race October 29 and the day the race was run on November 3.“I never have any luck when they bring races back like that. She’ll stretch out, but this is a good spot to get her started.”
Five Star Daydream has been working out at Gulfstream Park in Florida since the middle of January, with the intensity of the works picking up lately, including a March 10 breeze of four furlongs in :48 2/5.
Also shipping up from Florida is Glacken’s Mark, a Todd Pletcher trainee who wintered at Palm Beach Downs after a string of races at Delaware Park last fall. The Smoke Glackenfilly won four of seven starts last year, including two listed stakes. She will be making her first appearance since finishing a distant third in the Blue Hen on October 28.
Trainer Mike Trombetta is shipping in a hot newcomer to the Cicada. Thomas McClay’s Control System is 2-for-2 after a pair of sparkling wins at Philadelphia Park. The Lion Heartedfilly broke her maiden at first asking by 11 ½ lengths January 23, and then returned a 9 ¼-length winner in an entry-level allowance. Both her victories were earned on the lead.
The keys for Control System’s success in the Cicada will be how well she can either adapt to other front-end pressure or rate, and how well she handles a jump in class from Philly Park races to a grade III at Aqueduct.
Trombetta said he knew he had a better-than-average filly on his hands before the first time she ran. “She got off to a late start, but she showed a good deal of promise in her works leading up to her first race,” he said. “In her first start, she had the one-hole, which could be trouble for a first-time starter, but she broke smart and was very professional.”
Any potential frontrunner will have to deal with the presence of Paraneck Stable’s Golden Dreamer, winner of the Jan. 7, Ruthless Stakes. The Malabar Gold filly was dueled into defeat in the Dearly Precious Stakes last month and recently took on males to finish second in the Appealing Guy for New York-breds March 9.
Hungarian Boatbaby was the filly who dueled with Golden Dreamer in the Dearly Precious, tiring to finish sixth. The Silver Ghost filly comes into the Cicada fresher than Golden Dreamer and would probably be best served returning to rating tactics that won her a pair of starts at Delaware last year.
Special Dream was the beneficiary of the wicked pace in the Dearly Precious, drawing off to a commanding eight-length victory. In the Ruthless, however, she was at the mercy of a loose-on-the-lead Golden Dreamer and had to settle for a runner-up performance.
Becky’s Flute, winner of the Dat You Miz Blue last time out, and recent maiden winner Upscale Storm, complete the Cicada field.
$100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:20 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 6 Furlongs (Inner Track)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Golden Dreamer (NY), 122, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
2. Becky's Flute (NY), 118, Jesus Ponce
3. Hungarian Boatbaby (KY), 116, Ramon A. Dominguez
4. Control System (PA), 116, Julian Pimentel
5. Glacken's Mark (KY), 120, Michael J. Luzzi
6. Five Star Daydream (KY), 118, Eibar Coa
7. Upscale Storm (KY), 116, Channing Hill
8. Special Dream (KY), 122, Alan Garcia