01/12/2012 3:47PM

Aqueduct: Pace should suit Better Lucky in Ruthless Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Better Lucky scores a 4 1/4-length victory in her debut in the slop Dec. 7 at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – After winning stakes on both coasts last weekend, Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable is looking for an encore Saturday when it sends out Better Lucky in the $75,000 Ruthless Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.

Last weekend, under his Darley banner, Sheikh Mohammed won the Busanda at Aqueduct with Captivating Lass and the Sham at Santa Anita with Out of Bounds. For good measure, Shiekh Mohammed’s Godolphin Stable won the Count Fleet with Alpha at Aqueduct.

Better Lucky, a daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Grade 2-winning mare Sahara Gold, charged from off the pace in the slop to win her debut by 4 1/4 lengths at first asking for trainer Tom Albertrani. The third-place finisher from the race, Evasive Cat, came back to win a maiden race by 5 1/2 lengths on Wednesday, while the fourth-place finisher, Malibu Holiday, got beat a head in her subsequent start.

“I heard it was a pretty salty race, I heard the other four trainers all liked their horse in the race,” Albertrani said. “I thought mine was a nice filly, I didn’t expect her to run as big as she did. I thought whatever happened, she would improve with the race. As well as she did, I’m hoping she puts out the same type of effort.”

Better Lucky will break from post 7 in the 10-horse field under Cornelio Velasquez.

There does seem to be ample speed in the field, with the likes of Agave Kiss, a New York-bred trying open company for the first time; and Perennial Song, who won her first two starts at Parx Racing before finishing second in the Grade 3 Tempted at Belmont Park on Oct. 2.

Though trainer Rudy Rodriguez has worked Agave Kiss behind horses in the morning, Agave Kiss figures to be the primary speed breaking from post 5 under Ryan Curatolo.

“We put her behind one or two horses, but in a race you get hit [with dirt] from everywhere,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t want to take her away from her game; let her break and take it from there.”

Corderosa was a sharp debut winner Dec. 18, winning a six-furlong maiden race by 5 1/4 lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 83 for trainer David Donk. Though she won in front-running fashion, Donk expects Corderosa to come from off the pace Saturday.

“I’d like to see her rate a little bit if the pace is really quick, but I’ll leave that up to Junior” Alvarado, Donk said.

Dance to Bristol shipped here from Maryland last month to take the Pandera Stakes by a nose over Well Kept, who also is back in this spot. Trainer Ollie Figgins III said Dance to Bristol has been on the lead in her last two starts because of inside draws. On Saturday, she breaks from post 6.

“I think the post position is going to help us more than anything,” he said. “She’s not the type of filly who needs the lead.”

Trainer Valora Testerman believes the likelihood of a swift pace in this race will help Defy Gravity, who was third in the Pandera Stakes after winning the Smart Halo over Dance to Bristol on Nov. 19.

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