Darley Stable’s It's Tricky turned back a stern challenge from 3-5 favorite Turbulent Descent to win the TVG Acorn Stakes (gr. I) by 3 3/4 lengths over a muddy track June 11 at Belmont Park (VIDEO). The 3-year-old filly by Mineshaft traveled the one mile in 1:35.48 in the first of five graded stakes on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard.
Tracking in second behind pace-setter Savvy Supreme, It’s Tricky took the advantage turning for home under Eddie Castro and held off a determined rally by David Flores and Turbulent Descent. It was another 10 lengths back to Her Smile in third.
Her Smile missed the break in the one-turn Acorn as Savvy Supreme went right to the front, setting :22.97 and :45.90 opening splits. She was tracked by It’s Tricky, Snow Fall, Victoria's Wildcat, and Turbulent Descent.
Turbulent Descent worked her way to fourth as the field rounded the bend and moved wide out of the turn into the stretch. As Savvy Supreme softened, It’s Tricky grabbed the lead after six furlongs in 1:10.04.
“She handled (the wet track) really well," Castro said. "I put her where I did in the other two races I rode, and then I waited. When we got in the stretch, she kicked in nicely. She is powerful and has a nice kick.”
Sent off at 10-1, Turbulent Descent paid $22, $6, and $4. Turbulent Descent paid $2.60, and $2.10, and Her Smile was $4.30 to show. The exacta (4-2) returned $46.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, It’s Tricky has been at his New York base since April. In her last start she faded to finish fourth in the nine-furlong Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II) on April 2. She won her first three starts while racing at Aqueduct.
The bay filly broke her maiden at first asking Nov. 28 going six furlongs, then won a pair of one mile and 70 yard races on the inner track. On Jan. 26 she won an optional claiming/allowance race, then won the Busher Stakes Feb. 20.
It's Tricky has now earned $288,000 from her four wins.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Art Magnuson and the staff here because when we went to Florida she just didn't do well. She just didn't do well with the heat," McLaughlin said.
“The Mother Goose (gr. I June 25 at Belmont) is back in two weeks; it's a little quick back. We have other races, the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I, July 23 at Saratoga) and Alabama (gr. I, Aug. 20 at Saratoga). We'll talk to the Darley people and let them decide.”
Bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable, It’s Tricky is the second foal out of the grade III-winning Tale of the Cat mare Catboat. Catboat won the Arlington Breeders’ Cup Oaks (gr. III) in 2004. Stonerside sold their operation to Darley in September 2008.
Turbulent Descent was the heavy favorite based on the fact she is a two-time grade I winner, having won the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) last December and the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) in early March. In her start prior to the Acorn, she won the seven-furlong Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
“She got outrun," trainer Mike Puype said. "The filly on the lead ran big. That's what happens when you get a muddy track. We must have been seven or eight (lengths) clear of the next horse. I'm not going to say we ran a short horse. That's the way she runs. She ran well.”