Just four opponents lined up to face the 1-4 favorite in the six-furlong test of 3-year-old fillies over Aqueduct's inner dirt course.
After battling Alydarla early, Agave Kiss took charge, leading through a first quarter mile in :23.12. The daughter of Lion Heart continued to extend her advantage, getting the half in :46.24 and leading by five lengths as the field entered the stretch. Unchallenged in the lane, Agave Kiss crossed the finish in final time of 1:11.76 over a fast track.
The winner paid $2.50, $2.10, and $2.10 and increased her earnings to $184,200. Runner-up Corderosa was 6 ¼ lengths clear of Alydarla, returning $2.50 and $2.10. Alydarla paid $2.20, and was followed by Princess Reyana and Nitara.
The Cicada was the second stakes win for Agave Kiss, winner of the Ruthless Stakes in her previous start for Flying Zee Stable and trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The filly bred in New York by Nustar Breeding has barely been tested, winning all four starts from start to finish by a combined 23 lengths.
“She improved a little bit more today,” said winning jockey Ryan Curatolo. “She did everything great.”
After four consecutive wins at six furlongs, Rodriguez said he plans to stretch out Agave Kiss with the $250,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III) April 7 at a mile under consideration.
“I’m very, very happy with the way she ran today,” said Rodriguez. “Maybe she needed this race. Maybe we haven’t gotten to the bottom of her yet. Hopefully, she keeps improving. I don’t know (how good she can be). We won’t know until somebody gets close to her and we find out what kind of heart she has.
“We’ll see how she comes back, discuss with the owners, and then see what we might do,” said Rodriguez. “If everything goes well, our long-term plan is the Prioress (grade I, $300,000, six furlongs, Saratoga Race Course, Aug. 4) and Test (grade I, $500,000, seven furlongs, Saratoga, Aug. 25).”