03/18/2010 12:00AM

Bickersons caught break for Cicada


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - March came in like such a lion it literally knocked the Cicada into next week.

What a difference a week has made. Several days of warm sunshine have heralded spring's official arrival at 1:32 p.m. Saturday, with the rescheduled Grade 3 Cicada part of a stakes doubleheader along with the Kings Point Stakes.

The $65,000 Kings Point for New York-breds is race 4 on a 10-race program. The $100,000 Cicada is race 9, and the third leg of a $250,000 guaranteed late pick four.

The Cicada's revised 18th running numbers seven 3-year-old fillies, after losing Donna Getyourgun and Seaside Fortune, but picking up supplemental nominee Southern Truth.

The 7-5 morning-line favorite remains Bickersons, who comes off an excusable fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Davona Dale. With three weeks since that race instead of just two, and the likelihood of a fast track, Bickersons, the only graded stakes winner in the field, appears the prime beneficiary of Mother Nature's whims.

"I feel like the racing gods are with me," said trainer Kelly Breen. "She looks good in that spot."

If Bickersons runs back to her dominating win in the Grade 2 Forward Gal, she will be very tough to beat in the six-furlong Cicada. In retrospect, her effort in the Davona Dale at a mile behind Amen Hallelujah (entered in Saturday's Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream Park) was better than it looks. She contested the lead on a day when closers fared exceptionally well, and the fractions were considerably faster than the Sabin Stakes for older mares in the preceding race.

"I think she was rated a little too much," Breen added. "After going 24 and change the first quarter with the rider's feet in the dashboard, a faster pace in the three-quarter scenario should be more to her liking."

Liam's Dream and Romantic Hideaway, third and fourth in the Forward Gal, will give Bickersons another try.

Female Drama, a front-running winner of her first two starts last fall for Todd Pletcher, may rebound after being knocked around at the break of the Old Hat Stakes on Jan. 9.

"While she set the pace in her first two starts, I think she has the ability to sit off of it if need be," said assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas, who has overseen the stable's 9-for-28 stakes record at the meet.

Also entered were Fuzzy Britches, last-out winner of the Dearly Precious, and Indian Burn, winner of the Ruthless.

Icabad Crane, a 5-year-old gelding, will be a clear favorite in the 30th running of the 1 1/8-mile Kings Point, despite an 11-race winless streak since the 2008 Federico Tesio.

In fairness, Icabad Crane's last three races on a fast inner track turned out to be excruciatingly tough second-level allowance spots against Understatement, 4 for 4 on the inner track; Redding Colliery, next-out winner of the John B. Campbell in track-record time; and Well Positioned, a 1-4 shot who was fully extended to come again and beat him a half-length last out in a swiftly run race.

"He's been an unlucky horse in that respect," said Graham Motion. "It's frustrating, because we've tried to spot him conservatively and haven't been reward for it.

"I feel like he's a little better this year - he just has this naughty habit of leaning on horses. It's hard to knock that last effort, which was the fastest race of his life, but it's hard to tell if he was loafing or the other horse came back on him that well."

Breaking from the rail, Icabad Crane takes on (in post order) Naughty New Yorker, Good Law, See More Spirit, Mighty Morris, Manteca, and Rodeo Hand.