Godolphin Racing’s It's Tricky swung three-wide into the stretch, fought her way to the front, and drew clear by 3 1/2 lengths in the $200,000 Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack April 14 (VIDEO).
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the 4-year-old daughter of Mineshaft won for the second straight time and recorded her fourth graded stakes victory as the 3-5 favorite and 123-pound highweight. The filly was bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable and is out of the Tale of the Cat mare Catboat.
It’s Tricky entered the Distaff Handicap off a victory in the March 3 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II), also at Aqueduct. The bay filly’s 2011 season was highlighted by a pair of grade I scores in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Racecourse and the TVG Acorn at Belmont Park.
Breaking from the outside post in the five-horse field, It's Tricky closely tracked the early leaders Dontbeshy I'll Buy and Nicole H during the early stages of the seven-furlong race. Early fractions were :22:51, :45:13, and 1:09.34.
It's Tricky appeared to be fading in the turn for home before responding to right-handed encouragement from jockey Eddie Castro. The filly completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.39 on the fast track.
“She ran a mile and a sixteenth the time before, but she broke sharp and was right there,” said Castro. “I had to keep her busy a little bit at the three-eighths, but when she was going, she was going. She was perfect in the stretch.”
The winner improved her record to 7-3-0 from 11 starts and increased her earnings to $1,286,500.
“That was very exciting and it’s always encouraging to see these fillies when they come back from their 3-year-old year into their 4-year-old year,” said Godolphin racing manager Jimmy Bell. “There are some pretty quick fillies in this race and that certainly was a racehorse time from start to finish.
"She’s got what we all wish a lot of them had, she’s got tactical speed and can use it at any time and carry it a distance of ground. She can do it short or long, she’s certainly not one dimensional. It’s just great seeing her happy, healthy, and really interested in doing what she does best. This is another good step forward.”
It’s Tricky will likely be pointed next to the May 28 Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, a 1 1/16-mile race McLaughlin has planned on for months.
“We’re going to want to run her longer next time, for sure,” said Art Magnuson, assistant to McLaughlin. “I think she couldn’t keep up at the three-eighths pole and (Eddie) wanted her not to fall behind. We’re happy she was here in New York. It’s a long ship across the country, and we’re New York people anyway.”
It's Tricky paid $3.40, $2.60, and $2.10. C C's Pal returned $3.20 and $2.70, while Dontbeshy I'll Buy paid $5.60 to show.