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Little Rocket Shoots for Hat Trick in Ruthless

Little Rocket shoots for her third straight victory as she takes on an evenly matched field of 3-year-old fillies Saturday in her stakes debut, the 34th running of the six-furlong, $75,000 Ruthless at Aqueduct Racetrack.

 

Owned and bred by Barry K. Schwartz, the half-sister to graded stakes winner Lovely Lil came from just off the pace to win her debut by 3 ½ lengths on November 28. She returned a month later with a front-running 7 ½-length victory in a first-level allowance, with both starts coming over off tracks against New York-breds. A homebred daughter of Yes It’s True, out of the Pentelicus mare How About Now, Little Rocket had an easy half-mile breeze over Belmont Park’s training track on Sunday in preparation for her first start in open company.

 

“She’s a good horse that happened to be born in New York,” said trainer Mike Hushion of Little Rocket, the 5-2 morning-line favorite. “My best guess would be she’s going to be a sprinter, although that’s not to say she won’t get a mile. Certainly her sister could get a mile.”

 

With jockey Mike Luzzi aboard, Little Rocket drew post position 3.

 

Shortening up for the Ruthless is Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Kimono, most recently second to next-out stakes winner Princess of Sylmar in a one-mile, 70-yard optional claimer on December 13. Purchased for $550,000 last March, the daughter of Bernardini out of the Gone West mare Runnin Ute broke her maiden at second asking in August at Saratoga Race Course and next finished third in the one-mile, 70-yard Blue Hen in September at Delaware Park.

 

“We kind of anticipated that, being a daughter of Bernardini, she would appreciate being stretched out, but after having tried that a couple of times, we’re now thinking she might be best suited for sprints,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “Since we had both Princess of Sylmar and Coconut Shrimp for the last one [Busanda], we decided to try and shorten her up and hopefully that’s going to be able to change the deal.”

 

Kimono, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, drew post position 2. Ramon Dominguez will ride.

 

Also cutting back in distance is Kiss the Lady, who led to the quarter-pole in the Busanda before giving way and finishing sixth in her first try around two turns. Fifth first time out in October at Belmont Park, the Quiet American filly broke her maiden going six furlongs on November 11 at the Big A prior to the Busanda.

 

Jose Ortiz will be aboard Kiss the Lady, 4-1 on the morning line, as she leaves from the rail.

 

My Kinda Party, third in her debut at Saratoga for trainer Tony Dutrow, next returned to the mid-Atlantic where she posted a pair of victories and a second. Most recently the gray daughter of Flashy Bull was a front-running two-length winner of an optional claimer at Laurel Park at the Ruthless distance.

 

My Kinda Party drew post position 4 and will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez. The Michael Dubb color-bearer is listed at 4-1 on the morning line.

 

Completing the field are the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Railtown Girl, a 2 ½-length winner of her only start at Laurel, and Lady Banks, a half-length maiden winner over the inner track on December 14.

 

 

 

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