04/09/2012 3:05PM

Aqueduct: It's Tricky staying home for Distaff Handicap

Tom Keyser
It's Tricky will carry top weight of 123 pounds in Saturday's Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – After giving serious consideration to running in Friday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park, the connections of It’s Tricky on Monday confirmed that the dual Grade 1-winning filly will start in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct.

“We’re going to run in the Distaff, and Eddie Castro will get back on her,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Monday, noting that Ramon Dominguez will be at Keeneland to ride Hansen in the Blue Grass.

McLaughlin and Simon Crisford, racing manager for Godolphin Racing which owns It’s Tricky, had given hard thought to running in the Apple Blossom, especially after it was announced Saturday that Havre de Grace, the reigning Horse of the Year, would skip the race.

But travel arrangements to Hot Springs were not ideal, and with It’s Tricky having proven to be difficult for her handlers, the decision was made to remain in New York.

In order to get to Arkansas, It’s Tricky would have had to been flown to Lexington on Sunday and then van approximately 10 hours to Oaklawn.

“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.”

By running in the Distaff, It’s Tricky will be cutting back to a one-turn race for the first time since she upset the Grade 1 Acorn, a one-turn mile race, last June at Belmont Park. In her only other one-turn start, It’s Tricky won a maiden race in her career debut going six furlongs over Aqueduct’s main track in November 2010.

At 123 pounds, It’s Tricky will be the starting highweight in the Distaff and will spot five to 10 pounds to her rivals. Expected to face It’s Tricky are defending Distaff winner Nicole H (118 pounds), C.C’s Pal (117), Magical Feeling (117), Aquitania (114), Dontbeshy I’ll Buy (114), White Merlot (114). Her Smile (118), Bold Affair (115), and Indian Burn (113) are possible.

Montalvo fractures collarbone

Jockey Carlos Montalvo suffered a fractured left collar bone and will be out four to six weeks as a result of a spill in which he was involved during the running of Saturday’s 11th race.

Montalvo, 33, was aboard Bacchi when that horse appeared to clip heels with Sumfun and went down in the early stages of a $10,000 claiming race. Bacchi was then run into by Rotten to the Core, who flipped over Bacchi and suffered head or neck trauma and died instantly. Bacchi suffered cuts on his knee, hock and stifle, but wasn’t seriously injured, trainer Sandino Hernandez said Monday.

Ryan Curatolo, the rider of Rotten to the Core also was reported to be okay.

Montalvo, who was taken to North Shore University Hospital Saturday and subsequently released, saw a specialist Monday who did not recommend surgery.

Montalvo, 33, has won 880 races in his career, having had successful meets at Tampa Bay Downs and Presque Isle. He won 11 races during Aqueduct’s inner track meet, but was off to an 0-for-18 start to the main track season.