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Breeders' Cup 2017

Ruthless Returns Sunday

OZONE PARK, N.Y. With last Sunday’s scheduled running of the $65,000 Ruthless Stakes postponed due to weather-related cancellation of live racing, a re-drawn field of six newly-minted 3-year-old fillies will take to Aqueduct’s inner track Sunday for the rescheduled 33rd edition of the six-furlong race.

 

Last year, West Point Thoroughbreds’ Justwhistledixie made the Ruthless the second stop on a five-race win streak that included four straight stakes. She would go on to finish second in both the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Top Flight at Aqueduct later in the year. 

 

That record is something to aspire to for Sunday’s starters, including Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ lightly-raced Funny Feeling. 

 

The daughter of Distorted Humor broke her maiden at first asking November 19 at Churchill Downs.  Despite a wide trip from post position No. 8, she crossed the wire 2¾ lengths in front, which didn’t surprise trainer Mike Maker in the least.

 

“She’s very professional,” Maker said of the filly, who brought $250,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September sale.  “We’ve been high on her from day one and she didn’t disappoint us.”

 

The filly has been stabled at Belmont Park since the Churchill Downs meet closed at the end of November.  While Maker said the plan had always been to send her to New York for the winter, he had originally anticipated starting her in allowance company.  Instead, she will take a step up against more experienced fillies as she breaks from post position No. 2 with jockey Gabriel Saez in the irons.

 

Making her third start Sunday is Saul and Max Kupferberg’s Wild News, who broke her maiden last time out at Aqueduct on November 22 following a near miss in her first start at Belmont in October.  Favored on the morning line at 7-5 and breaking from post position No. 4, she will get the services of New York’s leading rider Ramon Dominguez.    

 

At the other end of the spectrum is Justin Haers’ Milc Kids, who made seven starts in 2009 and carries a two-race win streak into Sunday’s contest.  Trained by Todd Pletcher for the first four starts of her career, she was then transferred to the barn of Jeremiah Englehart.  Under his care, she broke her maiden at Finger Lakes on November 23 in her sixth start and captured a six-furlong allowance win in the slop over the same track on December 3. 


Milc Kids gets the services of jockey Anna Rose Napravnik aboard for the filly’s first two starts including a second-place effort July 12 at Delaware Park, and the pair will break from post position No. 5.

 

Completing the field are David Ross’s Argent Affair, exiting an allowance win at Philadelphia Park on November 14; Ruggeri Stable’s E Z Passer, a maiden winner at six furlongs over the inner track on December 27; and Crossed Sabres Farm’s Indian Burn, unraced since breaking her maiden at Belmont Park on October 23. 


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