07/05/2012 3:47PM

Belmont Park: Agave Kiss likely to gun it

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Tom Keyser
Agave Kiss, with Ramon Dominbguez riding, wins the Miss Preakness.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Rudy Rodriguez believes his speedy New York-bred filly Agave Kiss can rate. And perhaps one day he will get the chance to find out.

It’s highly unlikely that day will be Saturday, when the undefeated Agave Kiss aims for her seventh straight success in the Grade 3, $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park.

Agave Kiss drew the rail for the Victory Ride, which basically forces jockey Ramon Dominguez to send his filly to the front. Agave Kiss has been in front at every point of call in her six races, all at the Victory Ride distance of six furlongs.

“I would like to be outside, but she’s quick enough, the inside post I don’t think will bother her,” Rodriguez said. “She’s very easy, she’s relaxed at the gate. We just got to hope she breaks clean.”

Agave Kiss is the 2-5 morning-line favorite in the Victory Ride, which has taken the place of the Grade 1 Prioress on the New York Racing Association calendar. The Prioress has been moved to Aug. 4, three weeks before the Grade 1 Test.

Agave Kiss is coming off a 5 1/2-length victory in the Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, in which she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106. Rodriguez, who gets on Agave Kiss in the morning, said Agave Kiss has become more aggressive in her training.

“She wants to do more than you want,” Rodriguez said. “She makes me work. You pull on her too much, she pulls more. You have to let her do what she wants to do.”

Agave Kiss will carry co-highweight of 123 pounds with Gypsy Robin, who has won both of her starts this year, both on synthetic surfaces.

Wesley Ward, the trainer of Gypsy Robin, scratched out of Thursday’s $85,000 Western Larla Stakes, because he said the filly “couldn’t be any better” and wanted to run in the richer and more prestigious race.

Ward said the former jockey Robbie Davis breezed Gypsy Robin in Saratoga last week and coming off the track he told Ward, “I sure would like to ride this one.”

Tu Endie Wei is a three-time stakes winner over Woodbine’s synthetic surface. She makes her dirt debut in this spot.

“Most of her works on the dirt have been brilliant, but I had that same thing with Fatal Bullet,” said trainer Reade Baker, referring to a multiple graded stakes winner sprinter he trains. “He worked great on the dirt came to Belmont and Saratoga and didn’t run on it.”

Speaking of Tu Endie Wei, Baker said, “One thing is she’s a very quick horse that can close and go by horses. These other speed horses in here haven’t done that yet.”

Trainer Shug McGaughey supplemented Sea Island to the Victory Ride after he couldn’t find a second-level allowance race.

Though McGaughey acknowledged Sea Island wants to run farther than six furlongs, he said, “If they all hook up together, she’ll be finishing. I don’t think she’s a throw-out in the race by any means.”

Trainer Allen Jerkens sends out 30-1 Emma’s Encore against the big favorite Agave Kiss. Jamaican Smoke, a recent allowance winner at Churchill for Eddie Kenneally, completes the field.