Agave Kiss took
another step forward in her unbeaten career, taking the $75,000 Ruthless for
3-year-old fillies by 3 ¼ lengths on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Looking for her third straight victory, Agave Kiss seized a two-length
lead through an opening quarter mile in 22.62 seconds, extended the advantage
to three lengths with a half in 45.68, and received only mild encouragement in
the stretch from jockey Ryan Curatolo as Well Kept gave vain chase in second.
Agave Kiss, the 4-5 favorite, returned $3.70 for a $2 win wager and
completed six furlongs in 1:10.28.
“I took hold at the beginning because I didn’t want her to
go too fast,” said Curatolo, one of three finalists for the Eclipse Award
for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, which will be announced Monday. “But,
I didn’t take hold for long because she was so relaxed. I wanted to sit
there for a bit because I know what she can do. I let her keep going the way
she wanted: on an easy lead. When she really started to move, she did everything
right. Today, she was still a little bit green, but next time she will be
better. She’s really nice.”
In her two previous starts, Agave Kiss broke her maiden by 6 ¼ lengths
on New York Showcase Day, October 22, at Belmont Park
and took an allowance by 10 ½ lengths on December 1 at Aqueduct. Both starts
came against New York-breds, with the Ruthless being her first race against
“I thought she was that good,” said her trainer, Rudy
Rodriguez. “I just try to keep her happy and let her do her job.
She’s a very classy horse.”
Rodriguez said he wasn’t ready to make a commitment regarding
Agave Kiss’ next start, but did say the Grade 1 Prioress in the summer
could be the long-range objective for the daughter of Lion Heart.
Agave Kiss is owned by Flying Zee Racing Stable, whose principle, Carl
Lizza, died in July. The operation, now led by Carl’s wife, Viane, has
started dispersing the majority of the family’s equine holdings but has
kept Agave Kiss.
Corderosa finished third and was followed home by Dance to Bristol, Better Lucky,
Cute Cadet, and Perennial Song. Defy Gravity, Double the Energy, and Love
Contract were scratched.