05/20/2004 11:00PM

Belmont-lover Rodeo Licious to try Prioress


ELMONT, N.Y. - After winning last Sunday's $113,600 Bouwerie Stakes to remain undefeated at Belmont Park, Rodeo Licious is headed to the Grade 1, $250,000 Prioress on July 3, according to her trainer, Bruce Levine.

Rodeo Licious will try to follow in the footsteps of another New York-bred 3-year-old filly, Carson Hollow, who won the Prioress two years ago at Belmont.

Rodeo Licious, a one-length winner of the seven-furlong Bouwerie, was making her first start beyond six furlongs in that restricted stakes. She will drop back to six furlongs in the Prioress.

Among the 10 horses that Rodeo Licious defeated in the Bouwerie was Capeside Lady, last year's New York-bred champion 2-year-old filly.

Owned by Our Blue Streaks Stable and Pre K Stable, Rodeo Licious is a daughter of New York sire Rodeo, a son of Gone West, who stands at Contemporary Stallions in Coxsackie. Like her sire, who won a maiden race as a 2-year-old at Belmont by 15 1/2 lengths - running six furlongs in 1:08.90 - Rodeo Licious, a May foal, was precocious from the get-go.

Last year, after finishing second in her first two starts, Rodeo Licious won an open maiden race and the Fashion Stakes in a three-week span at Belmont. After the Fashion, Rodeo Licious, who was trained by Carl Deville during her juvenile campaign, was sidelined with a leg injury.

Rodeo Licious returned to the races on April 3 at Aqueduct against older statebred fillies and mares and won a six-furlong race by 5 1/2 lengths in her first start for Levine.

"I don't know if we are good enough to run in the Prioress, but she is certainly quick and likes Belmont," Levine said. "If she got on the board in the Prioress, that would make her pedigree because she's already an open stakes winner. The Prioress gives us plenty of time between drinks, and she runs well fresh."

Levine said the front-running Rodeo Licious is occasionally temperamental and can be stubborn about changing leads. In the stretch of the Bouwerie, jockey Mike Luzzi had to get into her at the eighth pole so she would switch to her correct lead.

"She has a history of getting wound up, but once she gets into the gate, she stands there like a cow," Levine said. "Changing leads has been her trouble in the mornings and in her first race for me, she didn't change. The other day she did and kind of [accelerated] after that."

Deville, acting as agent for the filly's current owners, bought Rodeo Licious as a yearling for $25,000 at Fasig-Tipton's preferred sale at Saratoga in 2002.

Glenn Brok, a van agent for Brook Ledge horse transportation and a farm owner in Pennsylvania, bred Rodeo Licious. Brok's wife, Becky Merkel, a well-known consignor at East Coast and Mid-Atlantic sales, consigned Rodeo Licious to the Fasig-Tipton sale.

Shorty's Promise, Rodeo Licious's dam, has produced seven foals. The five of her foals who have reached the races are all winners.

This year, Shorty's Promise foaled a filly by New York sire Freud, who stands at Lakland North in Hudson. A 14-year-old mare, Shorty's Promise also has a yearling colt by Tiger Ridge. In 2001, the year Rodeo Licious was born, Shorty's Promise was bred back to Rodeo, but failed to get in foal.

Rodeo Licious is among 37 individual winners from the first three crops of Rodeo, who is owned by a syndicate and stood the 2004 breeding season for $3,000 at Gus Schoenborn Jr.'s Contemporary. Rodeo Licious is Rodeo's first stakes winner and chief money earner with $185,660 from a record of 4-2-0 in six starts.