04/08/2012 9:43AM

Aqueduct: It's Tricky opts for Distaff over Oaklawn's Apple Blossom

Tom Keyser
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin says because of difficult travel arrangements to Arkansas, It's Tricky is more likely to stay at home for Saturday's Grade 2 Distaff at Aqueduct.

Barring the unexpected availability of a plane later in the week, It’s Tricky will not run in Friday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and instead will most likely start in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff at Aqueduct, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Sunday.

When the connections of Havre de Grace announced Saturday that the defending Horse of the Year would not run in the Apple Blossom, McLaughlin got busy on the phone seeking available travel arrangements to get to Oaklawn.

In order to get there, however, It’s Tricky would have had to get on a Sunday plane bound for Lexington, Ky., and then van approximately 10 hours to Hot Springs.

Given the quirkiness that It’s Tricky has shown in the past - hence her name - McLaughlin opted not to put It’s Tricky on that flight.

 “To go to Lexington today and a 10-hour van ride to Hot Springs, to have to be there and train there, not at home not with our people, she’s difficult,” McLaughlin said. “She’s doing really well, I don’t really want to take that chance and risk it. She’s already a Grade 1 winner. It’d be nice, she’d be the favorite for $500,000.”

McLaughlin said he would continue to be in contact with Simon Crisford, racing manager for Godolphin Racing, which owns It’s Tricky, to see if they want to make other arrangements.

It’s Tricky, a dual Grade 1 winner last year and winner of the Grade 2 Top Flight last month in her seasonal debut, was assigned 123 pounds for the Distaff, one pound less than Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance, who is not expected to start. The Distaff is run at seven furlongs.

Entries for the Apple Blossom are taken on Tuesday. Entries for the Distaff are taken Wednesday.