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Agave Kiss Stands Out in Cicada

Agave Kiss breaks maiden at Belmont Park. NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Undefeated Agave Kiss, freshened after winning the Ruthless on January 14, will be heavily favored to win her graded stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Cicada at Aqueduct Racetrack.


The Cicada, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, will be the fourth race on a 10-race card that will also feature the $100,000 Fred “Cappy” Capossela.


Agave Kiss began her career against New York-breds, breaking her maiden by 6 ¼ lengths in October at Belmont Park and airing by 10 ½ lengths in an Aqueduct allowance in December. In the Ruthless, the speedy filly maintained a safe lead throughout the race, finding the wire 3 ¼ lengths to the good of Well Kept.


With an eye on Grade 1 races like the $300,000 Prioress and $500,000 Test at Saratoga Race Course in August, trainer Rudy Rodriguez decided to bypass Aqueduct’s Dearly Precious and await the Cicada with Agave Kiss.


“We just wanted keep her fresh,” said Rodriguez. “We thought about running her, but it’s a long year and hopefully this will be good for her. We think she’s growing, so we think this was a good thing to do. We like her a lot, so we’re going to treat her like a good horse. She looks good and we’re very, very happy with the way she is right now.”


Ryan Curatolo, regular rider for owner Flying Zee Stables, will ride Agave Kiss, the 3-5 morning-line favorite, in the Cicada. The tandem will leave from post position 2.


William J. Punk, Jr.’s Corderosa prevailed by 5 ¼ lengths at first asking at Aqueduct in December, then was third, beaten by 4 ¾ lengths by Agave Kiss, in the Ruthless. The David Donk trainee enters the race having finished second by a neck against three opponents in the Dearly Precious.


Junior Alvarado has the assignment aboard Corderosa, the 2-1 morning-line second choice, from post 5.


The field also includes Alydarla, second in the Madcap Escapade on turf at Gulfstream Park on February 12; Nitara, a four-length debut winner on February 5 at Aqueduct; and Princess Reyana, second in a claiming race on March 1 at the Big A.


The field for the Grade 3, $150,000 Cicada:








Alydarla (KY)

D Cohen


J K Chapman



Agave Kiss (NY)

R Curatolo


R R Rodriguez



Nitara (KY)

C H Velasquez


E R Reed



Princess Reyana (NY)

S Camacho, Jr.


G C Contessa



Corderosa (KY)

J Alvarado


D G Donk






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