04/12/2012 2:57PM

Aqueduct: It's Tricky can more than pull her weight in Distaff

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
It's Tricky, with Ramon Dominguez riding, wins the Top Flight.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – While It’s Tricky will be conceding weight to graded stakes winners and turning back in distance in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct, the truth remains she is the class of the field, is training splendidly, and appears to be well drawn for the seven-furlong race.

After deciding between Friday’s Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn and the Distaff, the connections of It’s Tricky chose to stay home with their multiple Grade 1-winning filly, who has finished first or second in 9 of her 10 starts.

It’s Tricky went 4 for 8 in 2011 and was a finalist for the 3-year-old filly championship with victories in the Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks – both Grade 1 races – and runner-up performances in the Alabama, Cotillion, and Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic.

She made a successful seasonal debut winning the Grade 2 Top Flight going 1 1/16 miles over a tiring, muddy Aqueduct inner track on March 3.

In the Distaff, It’s Tricky will be cutting back to seven furlongs – a distance at which she has yet to race – while conceding five to nine pounds to six rivals including defending Distaff winner, Nicole H (118), the Grade 1 winner Her Smile (118) and the versatile C.C.’s Pal (117).

“We’re carrying 123 pounds, which is a concern, but she’s a multiple Grade 1 winner, you’re supposed to carry top weight,” said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains It’s Tricky for Godolphin Racing. “C C’s Pal is a nice filly. Nicole H is a very nice filly. Turning back is a little bit of a concern, but the way she’s trained and the fact is one of the best races of her life might have been the Acorn, one turn.”

Nicole H won a weak renewal of the Distaff last year and comes off a neck loss in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel on Feb. 18. She shows a solid work tab for this, her first start in eight weeks.

“Her last three works have been better and better,” trainer Mike Hushion said.

About facing It’s Tricky, Hushion said, “Obviously I’d rather she wasn’t in there. You hate to run against a top filly, but it’d be nice to beat a top filly. I’m not sure looking at her form that seven-eighths wouldn’t be just fine for her too.”

C C’s Pal finished a nose behind Nicole H when she ran third in the Fritchie. She has 3 wins and 2 thirds in 5 starts since being moved to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr’s barn.

Her Smile won the Grade 1 Prioress last year but is winless in four starts since. Aquitania, White Merlot and Dontbyshy I’ll Buy are all coming off sprint victories.

[DISTAFF HANDICAP: Get PPs and read pre-race analysis for Saturday's Aqueduct card]