03/08/2012 3:57PM

Aqueduct: Agave Kiss fresh for Cicada

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Agave Kiss, Ryan Curatolo up, wins the Ruthless last out, making her record 3 for 3.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – It’s not the easiest thing to skip a $75,000 stakes race in which your horse would be the odds-on favorite.

But that’s what the connections of Agave Kiss did last month when they eschewed the Dearly Precious Stakes at Aqueduct, which ran with a four-horse field and was won by Singlet.

Rudy Rodriguez, the trainer of Agave Kiss, said he had no regrets skipping the Dearly Precious. He believes he has a fresher filly for Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct where Agave Kiss figures to be an odds-on favorite in a five-horse field.

“It was easy for me to say don’t do it,” said Rodriguez, who trains Agave Kiss for Flying Zee Stables. “It kept her half-fresh and kept her mind good. We got to do the right thing by her, and to me the right thing to do for her was to give her an extra month. She will show up, I think.”

If the Agave Kiss who has won her first three starts by a combined 20 lengths shows up, there will be little drama in the six-furlong Cicada, which is carded as the fourth race on Aqueduct’s 10-race program. The Cicada tops a card that also includes the $100,000 Fred “Cappy” Capossela for 3-year-old sprinters.

Agave Kiss, a New York-bred daughter of Lion Heart, has won all three of her starts in front-running fashion and figures to be the one to catch on Saturday under Ryan Curatolo. She will break from post 2 under 120 pounds.

“She looks a lot more relaxed,” Rodriguez said. “She let us do a little bit more with her in her training. She’s just very, very comfortable. She’s doing very, very good.”

Alydarla, who raced twice on the turf this year, returns to the dirt and did show speed winning a maiden race at Saratoga. Trainer James Chapman will take Alydarla off Lasix.

Corderosa set the pace before falling a neck short to Singlet in the Dearly Precious Stakes. Two starts back, Corderosa finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Agave Kiss, in the Ruthless Stakes.

Trainer David Donk likes the fact Corderosa has another race under her belt to face Agave Kiss, but isn’t sure his filly can beat Agave Kiss on Saturday.

“If she has it her own way we’re all running for second,” Donk said of Agave Kiss. “It’s a graded race – it’s important to be second or third. Ideally, my first impression would be not to run against Agave Kiss, but the old adage is don’t be afraid of one horse. If she stubs her toe, we have a chance.”

Corderosa will break from the outside post under Junior Alvarado.

Nitara, a debut winner here on Feb. 5, and Princess Reyana, claimed for $14,000 out of her last start, complete the field.

Cicada S. (G3), Post Time: 2:22 pm ET Saturday

Purse: $150,000; 6 furlongs

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Alydaria

J. Chapman

D. Cohen

6-1

1

Agave Kiss

R. Rodriguez

R. Curatolo

3-5

1

Nitara

E. Reed

C. Velasquez

15-1

1

Princess Reyna

G. Contessa

S. Camacho, Jr.

30-1

1

Corderosa

D. Donk

J. Alvarado

2-1