It’s Tricky didn’t end last year the way she wanted, finishing second at the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic in November. That changed on Saturday, when she took home a victory in her first race of the season on a muddy track at Aqueduct in the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap.
It’s Tricky followed Love and Pride, who set the pace during the race, and waited until the three-sixteenths pole to make her move to the front. It’s Tricky kept things simple from then on, finishing strong and never relinquishing the lead. Tired as she may have been at the end of the race, It’s Tricky had just enough to pull out the victory by nearly three lengths.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez thought the track played a part in his horse’s labored finish, calling the track safe but “extremely tiring.”
“She did get tired the last eighth. She was kind of wandering around a little bit. Overall, I was very happy with her demeanor, how well she handled herself. She’s been known to have her days and be sort of tricky, as her name suggests, but she was great today,” said Dominguez.
Love and Pride came in next, followed by Bahama Bound in third. Coco Ecolo and Delightful Mary took home fourth and fifth, respectively.
It’s Tricky’s trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had chosen to hold out her Phillie because the previous weekend’s Sabin event at Gulfstream was half the purse of Saturday’s race. Also, avoiding Awesome Maria and Royal Delta to start off the year didn’t hurt.
“It was a good spot to get started and we’re thankful she won. I think it was a very good performance and she’ll improve from the race,” said McLaughlin.
It’s Tricky’s leadership group hasn’t yet decided which race they’ll enter her in next, but the March 31st Rampart at Gulfstream for $150,000, the April 13th Apple Blossom at Oaklawn for $500,000, and the May 4th La Troienne at Churchill for $300,000 are under consideration.