The Ruthless drew a field of seven. None of its entrants have won a stake and the top contenders – Cyber Secret, Hansel's Gretel and Reign of Tara – are all coming off entry-allowance victories.
Cyber Secret, a daughter of Cyberspace, has had about nine weeks since her last start, a convincing allowance win in early November. She currently sports a lifetime record of 2-1-0 from four starts, suffering her lone off-the-board finish in a sloppy track renewal of the
Astarita (gr. II).
"I don't think the Astarita was a too-much-too-soon deal," said Dutrow, who entered Cyber Secret in the Astarita off a maiden special weight victory. She's a good horse that just hated the track. She doesn't get over it when it's wet. Obviously, I'd like to run her [Sunday]. I think she's got a good amount of quality to her and this isn't that tough of a race."
Cyber Secret, who drew post 7 under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, sports five published workouts since her last start, working regularly over Aqueduct's inner track.
"She's doing good," said Dutrow, NYRA's winningest trainer in 2002. "I like to give my horses some time after a tough race. She's fresh and happy."
Owned by Herbert Kushner, New York-bred Hansel's Gretel makes her stakes and open company debut for trainer John Hertler She is one of only two Ruthless entrants that own a victory in the mud.
Dale Lucas' Reign of Tara has won 2 of 3 career races and is a threat from close range for trainer Billy Turner. A filly by Beau Genius, Reign of Tara won her career debut over a sloppy track at odds of 48-1 in mid-October, and has since won an entry-allowance race over the inner track.
Paraneck Stable's Xtra Heart defeated eventual Grade 2 Demoiselle winner Roar Emotion in a Belmont Park allowance race back in October. But she failed to fire in her next pair, finishing off the board in the Tempted and Demoiselle. Trained by Jen Pedersen, Xtra Heart has won two races, both coming from off the pace.
Nedlaw Stable's Safely at Home was defeated by Ruthless rival Reign of Tara in that aforementioned allowance race on Dec. 6, but could be able to turn the tables this time around. Returning from a five-month layoff, she tired after ripping through some fast early fractions, finishing third a length behind the winner.
$75,000 Ruthless Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs
PP HORSE, JOCKEY, WGT.
1 Safely at Home, Richard Migliore, 116
2 Lizzy Cool, C.C. Lopez, 116
3 Impolite, Mike Luzzi, 116
4 Xtra Heart, Dale Beckner, 118
5 Hansel's Gretel, Julio Pezua, 118
6 Reign of Tara, Javier Castellano, 118
7 Cyber Secret, Shaun Bridgmohan, 118