Mamdooha, freshened after a pair of stakes wins in December and January, will return to the races on Saturday to compete in Aqueduct Racetrack's Grade 3, $100,000 Cicada, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies.
Second in her debut in September at Monmouth Park, Mamdooha went on to win three straight. She broke her maiden by four lengths in November on Aqueduct's main track, posted a 4 ¼-length victory in the Gin Talking in December at Laurel Park, and wore down and nosed out Vero Amore to win the Ruthless on the inner track on January 12. Both the Gin Talking and the Ruthless were contested over muddy racetracks.
Following the Ruthless, Mamdooha's connections decided to bypass the Dearly Precious on February 8 in favor of having the Shadwell Stable homebred train up to the Cicada.
"She's happy, fresh, training great. We couldn't be happier," said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "She ran hard [in the Ruthless], so it was the plan right afterward to point for the Cicada."
Eddie Castro will ride Mamdooha, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, from post 5.
McLaughlin also entered Cheyenne Stables' Sustainable in the Cicada. Sustainable broke her maiden by a nose in her third start, a 5 ½-furlong race on December 31 at Aqueduct, and enters the Cicada off a second, beaten 10 ¼ lengths by Gracer, in the Dearly Precious.
"Sustainable broke her maiden and then ran well [when second to Gracer]," said Maguson. "This is a nice spot for her."
Rajiv Maragh has the call aboard Sustainable, who drew post 8 and was tabbed at 8-1 on the morning line.
Miss Behaviour is set to return to New York from Maryland after making a pair of starts at Belmont Park in the fall. She remained unbeaten in three starts when she took the Grade 2 Matron by one length in September before suffering her first loss when second by three-quarters of a length in the Sharp Cat overnight stakes in October. After finishing fifth in the Grade 3, one-mile Delta Princess in November at Delta Downs, she was shut down for the remainder of the year with the intention of focusing on sprint races in 2013. The Cicada will be her 3-year-old debut.
"We turned her out [after the Delta Princess] because she had some nagging problems," said trainer Phil Schoenthal, who trains Miss Behaviour for Cal MacWilliam and Neil Teitelbaum. "We think six furlongs is her ideal distance, and we're trying to find the right spots for her. We're Maryland guys, so the Miss Preakness [in May at Pimlico] is our first main goal, and we want to get two races in her before then, with races like the Prioress and the Test possible later in the year."
Schoenthal said he and the owners tried to change Miss Behaviour's running style in the Sharp Cat and Delta Princess, which he admits was a mistake. She'll return to her front-running ways in the Cicada, Schoenthal said.
"We want her to show the speed she has [in the Cicada]," said Schoenthal. "In her last race in New York and in the Delta Princess we tried rating her from just off the pace, but it proved to not be a good idea. It was a case of an owner and a trainer trying to change nature."
Miss Behaviour, the 3-1 second choice, drew post 6. Sheldon Russell has the call.
Schoenthal also will be represented in the Cicada by Inspired Say Eye, who has won two of her past three starts, all at Laurel. After winning a $25,000 claiming race on December 20, she has raced twice in optional claiming events, finishing fourth on December 28 and winning by seven lengths on January 30.
"She stepped up her game last time," said Schoenthal. "She's growing and improving. She's out of her conditions, and we want to see whether she belongs [in graded stakes competition]."
Inspired Say Eye, 20-1, will leave from post 2 with Abel Castellano, Jr. in the irons.
The third choice on the morning line is Jonesin for Jerry, another runner coming off a triumph in an optional claiming race at Laurel. After opening her 2013 campaign with a third in the Marshua and a fifth in the Wide Country, she drew off by 5 ¾ lengths when dropped into an optional claimer on February 28. As a 2-year-old, she won the restricted Maryland Million Lassie.
Wesley Ho will ride Jonesin for Jerry, 4-1, from the rail.
The field also includes Go West Marie, Red Minx, Alpaca Fina, and Rock Me Mama.
The field for the Grade 3, $100,000 Cicada:
Jonesin for Jerry (MD)
J J. Robb
Inspired Say Eye (MD)
A Castellano, Jr.
Go West Marie (CA)
I Ortiz, Jr.
D G. Donk
Red Minx (FL)
C P. DeCarlo
T A. Pletcher
K P. McLaughlin
Miss Behaviour (PA)
Alpaca Fina (ON)
C H. Velasquez
K P. McLaughlin
Rock Me Mama (KY)
J L. Ortiz