02/07/2013 5:23PM

Aqueduct: Cubicle Queen makes short leap from maiden to stakes

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Tom Keyser
Considering the competition Cubicle Queen faced in her maiden races, the Dearly Precious may not be as significant a step as it appears.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – On paper, Cubicle Queen stepping up into a stakes race from a maiden win would be considered a significant step up in class.

But given the competition Cubicle Queen has already faced, that may not be the case in Saturday’s $75,000 Dearly Precious Stakes at Aqueduct. Only five fillies were entered for the Dearly Precious, scheduled for six furlongs. A winter storm that could bring a foot of snow to New York by Saturday morning, could force this 10-race card to be canceled.

Cubicle Queen comes out of a three-quarter-length maiden victory here on Jan. 5. Prior to that, however, she was beaten in two maiden races that have turned out to be quite productive.

Cubicle Queen, a daughter of Salute the Sarge trained and owned in part by Charlton Baker, finished second in her debut to Lighthouse Bay on Oct. 8 at Belmont. Lighthouse Bay came back to win the Smart Halo Stakes at Laurel. Six other horses came out of that race to win.

Baker said that Cubicle Queen bled in that race. She returned seven weeks later at Aqueduct in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race and ran fourth behind Live Lively, Lady Banks, and Dance to All. Those three horses all came back to win their next starts.

Cubicle Queen, whom Baker said came out of that race with mucus in her lungs, came back to win her next start on Jan. 5. Baker said that his filly got a little tired in that race in part due to her having only one slow workout in between races.

Entering Saturday’s race, Baker is happy with Cubicle Queen’s preparation.

“I think she’s coming into the race really good,” Baker said.

Cubicle Queen breaks from the rail which will likely force jockey David Cohen to send her away from the gate.

“It depends how she breaks. I think she can sit a little, but breaking from the rail she may have to go,” Baker said.

Kiss the Lady, whom Cubicle Queen beat on Nov. 11, comes off a second-place finish to Lady Banks in the Ruthless Stakes here on Jan. 12, her second race in eight days.

Kiss the Lady also has speed and trainer Rudy Rodriguez expects his filly to be a forward factor if she breaks alertly.

“I usually don’t tell jockeys what to do, but if you break in front, why do you need to take them back?” Rodriguez said. “If she breaks good I won’t mind seeing her on the lead.”

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin sends out the uncoupled entry of Elghayoor and Railtown Girl. Elghayoor is a maiden after finishing second in her first two starts.

“She’s improving all the time,” said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “We think we can win or we wouldn’t try it.”

Railtown Girl, third in the Ruthless, “is improving and maturing all the time. We were tickled to death after the Ruthless.”

Maggiesfreuddnslip, a winner against New York-bred maidens last out, completes the field.