03/16/2010 11:00PM

Southern Truth joins Cicada cast

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Understatement, a two-time stakes winner this winter, will be pointed to the $1 million Charles Town Classic.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The postponement of the Grade 3 Cicada Stakes gave trainer Jason Servis a rare opportunity to thoroughly study a race before deciding to enter.

Having scoped out the competition, Servis decided the $100,000 Cicada for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at Aqueduct was a reasonable spot for Southern Truth.

She wasn't among the eight entrants when the stakes was originally carded for March 13. That program was canceled due to heavy rain and high wind in the New York area and the stakes was delayed one week.

It gave Servis added time to take a long look at the field.

"We want to get her stakes-placed," Servis said. "I thought she could hit the board in there. It was nice to look at the race before you entered."

Southern Truth is the only new face in the Cicada lineup. Bickersons, Female Drama, Fuzzy Britches, Romantic Hideaway, Indian Burn, and Liam's Dream are back from the original field. Donna Getyourgun and Seaside Fortune were the two defections.

The late decision to run put Servis in scramble mode to get Southern Truth from the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida to New York. She arrived Thursday morning, heading right to Belmont Park and Mike Miceli's barn. John Servis, Jason's brother, will oversee the training.

In her latest effort, Southern Truth set the pace before finishing sixth in the mile and 40-yard Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Servis said he feels Southern Truth will appreciate the cutback in distance to the six-furlong Cicada.

"It looks like she doesn't want to run long," Servis said.

Southern Truth has turned in some nice efforts in shorter races. She was fourth in the Grade 2 Matron Stakes at Belmont last fall going seven furlongs and won a restricted stakes at five furlongs in the slop at Delaware Park in August.

The 10-race Saturday card also includes the $65,000 Kings Point Stakes for New York breds.

Lopez to miss several weeks

Jockey C.C. Lopez will miss the next three to six weeks after suffering a small decompressed fracture in one his vertebrae as a result of a spill last Friday, according to his agent, Joe Rosen.

Lopez was aboard Magic Tiger, who clipped heels with another horse in the stretch of Friday's eighth race and went down. Lopez got up and walked away and even rode two mounts Sunday at Aqueduct. Lopez was informed by doctors on Tuesday about the fracture. Rosen said that Lopez will not need surgery.

"It's nothing major, he just needs time,'' Rosen said. "He's in pain, but he can walk. They'll re-evaluate him in a couple of weeks."

Lopez is the third leading rider at the inner track meet with 39 wins from 252 mounts. His horses have earned $1,137,783 in purse money.

Understatement heading to W. Va.

Understatement will try to transfer his inner-track form to West Virginia when the horse runs in the $1 million Charles Town Classic on April 17.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said the purse and the timing of the race make the Charles Town Classic a more attractive race than the $200,000 Excelsior at Aqueduct on April 3.

"Two more weeks, he won't mind that,'' Pletcher said. "We'll see if he can transfer his inner-track form to another surface.''

Understatement is 4 for 4 over the inner track, including victories this winter in the Evening Attire and Stymie stakes.

Among the horses Understatement is expected to face in the Charles Town Classic is the Grade 1 winner Macho Again.

- additional reporting by David Grening