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Agave Kiss seeks fourth straight in Cicada
Agave Kiss will face just four rivals while making her graded debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Cicada Stakes going six furlongs on Aqueduct's inner dirt.
The unbeaten daughter of Lion Heart hasn't competed since taking the Ruthless Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on January 14, and was originally scheduled to go in the February 11 Dearly Precious Stakes.
However, with an eye on Grade 1 races like the $300,000 Prioress and $500,000 Test at Saratoga in August, trainer Rudy Rodriguez decided to bypass the Dearly Precious and await the Cicada with Agave Kiss.
"We just wanted keep her fresh," Rodriguez said. "We thought about running her, but it's a long year and hopefully this will be good for her. We think she's growing, so we think this was a good thing to do. We like her a lot, so we're going to treat her like a good horse. She looks good and we're very, very happy with the way she is right now."
Agave Kiss opened her career at Belmont Park last October, breaking her maiden against state-bred rivals by 6 1/4 lengths, before romping in an allowance by 10 1/2 lengths while facing similar to close out her juvenile campaign on December 1.
The Ruthless was her first start against open company, and the chestnut filly looks to continue her undefeated mark with regular rider Ryan Curatolo aboard.
Among those lining up in the Cicada is Corderosa (Aldebaran), who ran third to Agave Kiss in the Ruthless prior to a neck second in the Dearly Precious.