Nice Boots Baby Wins Ruthless Stakes

Nice Boots Baby remained undefeated in three career starts, winning Sunday's $76,945 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct by 2 1/2 lengths. Proper Gamble closed from the rear of the field for second, finishing a neck in front of Al Max Diner. Vesta was last in the field of four 3-year-old fillies, 9 1/4 lengths behind Al Max Diner.

"I was surprised we didn't outbreak Al Max Diner and once we were behind, I didn't want to rush my filly," said Pino. "I just had a ton of horse on the turn and decided to wait before I circled. I thought she was real impressive. For her to completely switch running styles like that says a lot."

Nice Boots Baby, with Mario Pino aboard, carried 118 pounds six furlongs in 1:10.82 on the fast track to earn $47,595 for owner-trainer Anthony Dutrow. Nice Boots Baby remains undefeated after her third start and first in a stakes race. The daughter of Storm Boot--Foxfire Lass, by Premiership sold for $57,000 as a yearling and returned $3.90 and $2.20 as the odds-on favorite.

"She showed how good she is today," said Dutrow. "Obviously, we've got a filly we can take a hold of and maybe she'll be able to stretchout to some longer races down the road. She was very good today."

Proper Gamble paid $2.30. There was no show betting. The winning exacta combination returned $6.40. (Chart, Equibase)