Favored Quantum Miss took over at the top of the stretch and held off a late rally by Coax Liberty to win by a half-length in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies March 19 at Aqueduct.
Cornelio Velasquez guided Quantum Miss to her first graded stakes victory for trainer Tony Dutrow. The daughter of Smoke Glacken is a Pennsylvania homebred of Daniel M. Ryan. The final time for six furlongs on the fast dirt was 1:11.99.
Quantum Miss dueled with Roman Treasure through brisk opening fractions of :22.49 and :46.07, and edged clear of her rival turning for home. She opened up a two-length lead at the eighth-pole and had a comfortable advantage for much of the stretch before Coax Liberty began to close strongly under Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
Coax Liberty, who broke a step slowly and found herself trailing the field of seven in the early stages, was gaining ground on Quantum Miss nearing the wire but ran out of room. The Successful Appeal filly settled for second, 3 3/4 lengths in front of Dream.
Quantum Miss entered the Cicada off of a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Jan. 5 Old Hat (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park when she failed as the 7-5 favorite in her season debut. As a juvenile, she won twice in three starts, including a 16-length romp in the restricted Blue Mountain Stakes at Penn National in November.
"I was very impressed," Dutrow said. "She broke right on top, took the worst of it along the backstretch, and held off what looked like a very good field. Her performance kind of confirms what we thought all along: she’s a six-furlong filly. We’re thinking about eventually running her in the Prioress (gr. I, July 4 at Belmont), with something else in between.”
The gray/roan filly improved to 3-0-1 from five starts with earnings of $150,750. She is out of the Valid Expectations mare Quanah County.
Sent off at 9-5, the winner paid $5.80, $3.60, and $2.60. The exacta (5-7) returned $24.40 and the trifecta (5-7-4) was worth $85.80.