11/03/2017 10:36AM

True Romance brings more speed to Pumpkin Pie

Barbara D. Livingston
Lucy N Ethel wins last year's Grade 2 Prioress Stakes.

Five of the seven original entrants plus one new player have signed up for Sunday’s rescheduled Pumpkin Pie Stakes, which has been pushed back a week and shifted to Aqueduct after the Belmont Park closing-day card was rained out.

A $100,000 race for fillies and mares at six furlongs, the post-Halloween Pumpkin Pie has a different flavor than a week ago due to the presence of the newbie in the field, True Romance.

When originally carded, it appeared that Lucy N Ethel and Bustin Out were the chief speed horses. But True Romance is a fast filly in her own right, and the threesome now figures to have a tougher time avoiding each other on the front end.

Lucy N Ethel has not been headed early in any of her eight races. Bustin Out, a New Jersey-bred who has banged out $344,000 in earnings in the land of Springsteen, has made the lead in eight of her last nine races dating to May 2016.

Lucy N Ethel won the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga in 2016. She tired to finish sixth and last in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom on Sept. 24 while making her first in 11 months. That race was her debut for Todd Pletcher, her fourth different trainer.

Bustin Out, a winner of 9 of 18 starts, all for trainer Chuck Spina, hasn’t started since winning the statebred Eleven North for the second year in a row at Monmouth Park on Aug. 27. While she’s quick, it’s difficult to predict how much stick she will show in a New York stakes.

She has been ridden in every start by the sidelined Jose Ferrer and will have Manny Franco aboard Sunday.

True Romance enters off a hard-fought third-place finish in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland for trainer Tim Hills. She was beaten only 2 1/2 lengths by Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint entrant Finley’sluckycharm, a winner of 9 of 12 starts.

If the fractions are suicidal, Indulgent could be the beneficiary. She has the ability to come from just off the pace and has been facing stiff competition all year for Kiaran Mclaughlin.

Cursor also would appreciate a hot pace. She returned from an eight-week layoff to score a late-running second-level optional-claiming win for Mark Hennig on Sept. 29.

The field is completed by Fusaichi Red.