Lizzy Cool, en route to Ruthless win.

Lizzy Cool, en route to Ruthless win.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Lizzy Cool Enjoys the Ruthless Pace at Big A

(from track report)
Sabine Stable and Robert Kelly's Lizzy Cool is apparently fond of her newfound front-running style.

Sunday at Aqueduct, the daughter of the late sire, Saint Ballado, took to the lead under jockey C.C. Lopez and held off favored Reign of Tara to score a ¾-length victory in the $80,425 Ruthless for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Her winning time was 1:10 4/5.

"When they said 'Go,' she got up and left," Lopez said. "There isn't much else to say. We got the lead and she dug in."

Winless in her first three starts, Lizzy Cool was a decidedly different horse on Dec. 18, when trainer Robert Barbara put blinkers on her and sent her to the lead. She broke her maiden by 5 1/2 lengths.

"I planned this weeks ago," Barbara said. "She's a very fast filly, and I knew she would improve after she won. As soon as she broke her maiden, I said that we were going for the Ruthless. The blinkers have definitely helped her. She used to look around and be unfocused."

Lizzy Cool returned $19.40 for a $2 win ticket.

Reign of Tara targeted the front-runner from the start, but could not close behind the pace of :23; :46 2/5 and :58 1/5 on the "good" inner dirt track.

"I think the winner might be a better horse than people give her credit for," said Billy Turner, trainer of the beaten favorite. "She was very impressive when she broke her maiden here. I thought my filly ran well."

Xtra Heart was a distant third.

(Chart, Equibase)