Though Wilzada was winless in three graded stakes attempts in 2002, she was a gem of consistency. Running 10 times from January to November, Wilzada won seven of them. She also chalked up two third-place finishes in a pair of graded stakes - the Nassau County (gr. II) and Safely Kept (gr. III).
"We had high expectations on her and she didn't disappoint us," trainer Tony Dutrow said. "She just goes out there and wins."
Wilzada, who is undefeated in two starts at six furlongs over the inner track, enters the Interborough off 50 days rest.
Jockey Mario Pino will be in to ride Wilzada, who drew post 9 under 119 pounds. She spots her foes four to 10 pounds.
Like Wilzada, Flatbird Stable's Shawklit Mint has proven she can win on the lead, or coming from just off the pace. One of the top female New York-bred sprinters in training, Shawklit Mint crushed a third-level allowance field on Dec. 12, winning "handily" by nine lengths.
On the year, this daughter of Air Forbes Won has compiled a 6-3-5 record from 15 starts. She's hit the board in a couple of stakes, running third in the Bouwerie and Schenectady.
"She really likes the mud," trainer Pat Reynolds said. "That would really help us out if we could catch a sloppy track."
New Farm's Blinded By Love is quick, runs hard every time and defeated Shawklit Mint in a third-level allowance on Nov. 23. Trained by Ben Perkins Jr., Blinded By Love figures to be on the lead through the early stages of the Interborough.
$75,000-added Interborough Handicap, older fillies & mares, 6 furlongs
PP Horse, Jockey, Weight
1 Blinded By Love, Javier Castellano, 114
2 Shawklit Mint, Richard Migliore, 114
3 Quarter to Nine, Paul Toscano, 109
4 Look of the Lynx, Shaun Bridgmohan, 115
5 Belle Artiste, Jean-Luc Samyn, 114
6 Bonefide Reason, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 113
7 Literary Light, Aaron Gryder, 112
8 Saskya, Mike Luzzi, 112
9 Wilzada, Mario Pino, 119