03/30/2010 11:00PM

Cuff Me gets class relief in Lottsa Talc


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Cuff Me and So N So, two finalists for champion New York-bred 2-year-old filly of 2009, head a field of six entered at Aqueduct in Thursday's $60,000 Lottsa Talc overnight stakes for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.

Cuff Me swept three starts on this circuit easily last year, capped by a win against open company during the first week of the inner-track meet. On the strength of that performance, she was sent off at even money in the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park five weeks later but faded to finish fourth.

Freshened at Palm Meadows training center for nine weeks after the Old Hat, Cuff Me stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs and again ran fourth after pressing the early pace.

"I thought she did really good at Palm Meadows, but I was disappointed in both of her races at Gulfstream and Tampa," trainer Tony Dutrow said. "She was in the feed tub good, trained good . . . I don't know why."

Cuff Me gets a switch back to Ramon Dominguez, fresh off his third consecutive inner-track riding title.

"She's back to where she's done her best, she continues to do well, and she's in a good spot, so we'll just have to see how she does," Dutrow said.

So N So turned heads winning her five-furlong debut in 56.66 seconds last June, and though she then worked harder than expected to win an overnight stakes at Saratoga, the quality of that effort became apparent when runner-up Mineralogist returned to win the Joseph A. Gimma and Maid of the Mist in the fall.

So N So was then sidelined by tender shins until mid-November and concluded her season by running fourth in a division of the New York Stallion.

"She didn't finish it off too well, but there were a couple of issues we were sorting out with her," trainer Tom Bush said. "Some of the gaps were for physical reasons, and some the races weren't there. She's got plenty of size to her and is a little bit difficult to handle."

So N So has worked regularly for her return and picked up the tempo noticeably in a bullet five-furlong move last week.

"She needed to do something a little bit stronger and really worked exceptionally well," Bush said.

Silver Tax, No More Stress, Myrtle's Gray, and Bailzee also entered.