Other than different post positions, handicappers will find little change in Saturday’s $100,000-added Cicada (gr. III) at Aqueduct, which was rescheduled from last Saturday.
The Cicada, for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs, has drawn a field of seven. It will be a co-feature on a nine-race program that also includes the $150,000 Distaff Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) for fillies and mares.
Big A horse players had to endure three straight canceled cards last weekend because of a late winter storm. Saturday’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and a high of nearly 50 degrees – a far cry from last Saturday’s sub-freezing temperatures and whipping winds.
The Cicada could prove the coming out party for Control System, a Maryland-based filly who has won her first two starts with nonchalant ease at Philadelphia Park. Trained by Mike Trombetta, who used Aqueduct’s inner track as a springboard for Sweetnorthernsaint on last year’s Triple Crown trail, Control System will make her stakes debut in this spot. So far, she owns an 11 1/2-length maiden win and 9 1/4-length allowance score, both at six furlongs.
“We took her to Philly twice because she’s a PA-bred and with all the awards and stuff it made sense,” Trombetta said. “Her first two starts haven’t surprised me. She’s been one we’ve liked for a while.
Control System has won both her races going wire-to-wire, a good style considering she has drawn the rail this time around. Jockey Julien Pimentel has the mount aboard Control System.
Five Star Daydream, a quick filly who won three races in New York last season, returns in the Cicada. Trainer Shug McGaughey won his first and only Cicada in 2000 with Finder’s Fee.
Owned by Stewart Armstrong, Five Star Daydream has not raced since finishing third as an odds-on favorite in the Nov. 3 Tempted, which was her first start beyond six furlongs. In the weeks prior to that defeat, Five Star Daydream had reeled off three straight open-length victories at six furlongs.
The Tony Dutrow-trained Hungarian Boatbaby appears to be in a good spot to rebound. Last month, Hungarian Boatbaby hooked Cicada foe Golden Dreamer in a wicked speed duel in the Dearly Precious. Both fillies were cooked at crunch time after setting fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 4/5. Dutrow says Hungarian Boatbaby will return to the stalking tactics that won her two races at Delaware Park over the fall. The filly also gets a rider change from Eibar Coa to Ramon Dominguez in the Cicada.
$100,000-added Cicada Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 3:50 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 6 Furlongs (Inner)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Control System (PA), 116, Julian Pimentel
2. Five Star Daydream (KY), 118, Eibar Coa
3. Golden Dreamer (NY), 122, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
4. Glacken's Mark (KY), 120, Michael J. Luzzi
5. Special Dream (KY), 122, Alan Garcia
6. Hungarian Boatbaby (KY), 116, Ramon A. Dominguez
7. Becky's Flute (NY), 118, Jesus Ponce