01/11/2012 5:26PM

Aqueduct: Agave Kiss a standout for trimmed-down Flying Zee

Barbara D. Livingston
Agave Kiss, with Ryan Curatolo riding, wins his racing debut on New York Showcase day.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – It has been six months since Carl Lizza, the head of Flying Zee Stable, died. The stable, which was the leading owner in wins (59) and starters (332) on the New York Racing Association circuit in 2011, is down to 12 horses in training, only five currently stabled in New York.

One of those horses is Agave Kiss, a talented New York-bred 3-year-old filly, who puts her 2-for-2 mark on the line against open company in Saturday’s $75,000 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct. The Ruthless, run at six furlongs, drew a surprisingly large field of 10 3-year-old fillies.

Flying Zee has held two dispersals already, and a third one is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Highcliff Farm in upstate New York.

Viane Lizza, Carl’s widow, said she plans to maintain a “manageable” 15-horse stable. Currently, Flying Zee has seven with Phil Serpe in south Florida, four with Carlos Martin, and Agave Kiss with Rudy Rodriguez in New York. Viane Lizza said she kept one broodmare, the stakes winner I Lost My Choo, and has a yearling out of that mare by Tiznow with a Cosmonaut baby on the way.

“As we race, if we lose one or if one gets claimed I’ll probably replace it, or wait for the sales,” Lizza said Wednesday. “I’ll have no more than 15. Hopefully, I kept the best that we had.”

Agave Kiss, a homebred daughter of Lion Heart, showed tremendous potential when, on New York Showcase Day, she rolled to a 6 1/4-length victory against 12 rivals in a six-furlong maiden race. She ran six furlongs in 1:09.79 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

“Believe it or not we expected her to run like that,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what she was showing us in the morning. I told Ryan [Curatolo] if she breaks, just do what you have to do.”

Agave Kiss came back six weeks later and cruised to an easy 10 1/2-length victory in a first-level statebred allowance over Aqueduct’s inner track. Taken in hand at the eighth pole, Agave Kiss ran six furlongs in a slower 1:13.16.

“I told Ryan, just take it easy with her, don’t abuse her, I thought she was going to gallop the way she did,” Rodriguez said. “I said, ‘Next start we’ll see what she’s all about.’ ’’

The Ruthless will certainly be a test for Agave Kiss, who has yet to find herself behind horses. Curatolo will again be aboard from post 5. Agave Kiss has two bullet workouts leading up to this.

“She’s training very, very good,” Rodriguez said.

The Ruthless includes the speedy Perennial Song, who won her first two starts at Parx in front-running style before finishing second in the Grade 3 Tempted at Belmont on Oct. 2 while pressing the pace.

Defy Gravity and Dance to Bristol are other stakes winners entered in this field, while Better Lucky and Corderosa were both visually impressive winning their debuts 11 days apart over the inner track.

Double the Energy, who has won three straight, Love Contract, who has won four of her last five, Cute Cadet, and Well Kept, beaten a nose by Dance to Bristol in the Pandera Stakes, complete the contentious field.

Nicole H to Correction

Following Nicole H’s hard-fought victory in the Interborough Stakes here on New Year’s Day, trainer Mike Hushion indicated that the filly would be pointed to the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap on Feb. 18.

Upon further review, Hushion and owner John Waken have changed course and will now point Nicole H to the $100,000 Correction Stakes here on Feb. 4. The Correction is run at six furlongs, while the Fritchie is a seven-furlong race.

“I like the idea of keeping her home,” Hushion said. “She had a respiratory infection last year and rather than ship her there and back, I’d like to stay here.”

Hushion still hopes to be represented in the Barbara Fritchie with Lovely Lil, who is running in Friday’s We’ll See Ya Stakes for New York-breds.

Caixa Eletronica likely for General George

Trainer Todd Pletcher was up from south Florida to enjoy the unseasonably mild New York weather, spend some time with his family, and check on his New York string.

The star of Pletcher’s New York stable is Caixa Eletronica, who won Sunday’s Rise Jim Stakes impressively. Pletcher indicated Wednesday that Caixa Eletronica would be pointed to the $200,000 General George at Laurel Park on Feb. 20 rather than the Toboggan here on Feb. 4. Pletcher is expected to run Calibrachoa in the Toboggan, a race Calibrachoa won last year.

“It’s a way to split the two of them up,” said Pletcher, who trains both horses for Mike Repole.

Ruthless Stakes, Post Time: 3:09 ET Saturday

Purse: $75,000; 6 furlongs





ML Odds


Double The Energy

H. Vega

J. Salzman, Jr.



Love Contract

D. Geist

M. Chaves



Defy Gravity

V. Testerman

R. Fogelsonger



Cute Cadet

J. Rosado

A. Smith



Agave Kiss

R. Rodriguez

R. Curatolo



Dance to Bristol

O. Figgins, III

E. Peltroche



Better Lucky

T. Albertrani

C. Velasquez




D. Donk

J. Alvarado



Well Kept

L. Gyarmati

I. Ortiz, Jr.



Perennial Song

A. Dutrow

R. Dominguez