Skeedattle Stable's Dixie Talking, a Maryland invader dismissed at 27-1, rallied widest of all Saturday afternoon to take Aqueduct's $109,800 Cicada (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
The Cicada, the first graded stakes of 2005 run on Aqueduct's main track, produced a $56.50 payoff. Jockey Alan Garcia and Dixie Talking, a daughter of Dixieland Band, came home a 1 ¼-length winner in 1:23.
Alfonsina and Megascape drew most of the support and both broke sharply with Alfonsina taken to the outside.
The chalk led the way to a quarter-mile of :22 4/5 and a half of :45, but entering the stretch, it was clear that the fast pace was taking its toll on the leaders. As they backed up, Acey Deucey and Diane Nelson came with a rally down the lane, but Dixie Talking had even more energy on the outside.
It was the third win in four starts for Dixie Talking, who ran a disappointing fifth in her last start, the one-mile Wide Country at Laurel on February 12.
"She had a reaction to the Lasix last time," said winning trainer Robin Graham. "It was just a weird thing that day. Her electrolytes were unbalanced. I was working on a confidence thing with her, because I wanted to make her think it wouldn't happen again. I've been working with her to get her to finish in the stretch. We worked her on Lasix, and that worked out fine."
Graham said she would likely run back at Pimlico, with an eye on the Black Eyed Susan in May.
Acey Deucey was second, with Alfonsina, Pelham Bay, Take a Check, Salute, Megascape and Mackenzie Nicole trailing.
"She was sitting outside beautifully," said Alfonsina's jockey, Joe Bravo, who won two races earlier in the day. "(Trainer Nick) Zito is going to have her ready to go next time. She's a very nice filly who is still developing."