(Aqueduct / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Set to make her first of the year, Stoneway Farm’s stakes-winning homebred Cofactor will headline a talented field of five in Saturday’s $100,000 Cicada for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Kelly Breen, the daughter of multiple graded stakes-winner The Factor, out of the graded stakes-placed mare Coco Belle, broke her maiden at second asking in September at Monmouth Park.
Cofactor returned to win a second level allowance race on October 16 at Keeneland and followed with a 1 3/4-length victory in the Smart Halo at Laurel Park in November. She capped her juvenile season with a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Gin Talking on December 28 at Laurel Park.
Cofactor enters the Cicada off numerous sharp breezes, including a four-furlong work in 48.78 seconds on March 14 on the Belmont Park training track.
“She came out of her last breeze really well,” said Terri Burch, racing manager of Stoneway Farm. “In her last race, she threw her head up. She’s a really nice filly but she has her own mind. She wants to do what she wants to do. We freshened her up after that last race and Kelly had this on his schedule as her comeback race. She has been training well. Kelly is just over the moon with her and how happy she seems to be.”
Drawing post 3, Cofactor will be ridden by Dylan Davis.
Spanish Point, for owner Bermuda Limestone Thoroughbreds, will be running for the first time since a third-place finish in the Glitter Woman on January 4 at Gulfstream Park.
In the care of conditioner Jorge Abreu, the Creative Cause filly won her debut impressively by 5 ¼ lengths on September 26 at Belmont Park, and went on to win the House Party on November 30 at Gulfstream before earning black type in the Glitter Woman.
Shipping up from Abreu’s winter base at Palm Meadows training center in Florida, the conditioner said he expects her to improve off her last effort.
“She’s really continued to blossom here in Florida over the winter from last year,” said Abreu. “In her last start, she was in good position for most of the way but had to travel three-wide into the stretch. I thought she still put up a good effort to get a piece of it and she definitely gained some racing experience which should benefit her going forward.”
With Aqueduct winter meet-leading rider Manny Franco in the irons, Spanish Point will depart from the rail.
Ilchester Cheetah for trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer and Designated Hitters Racing, will be in search of her first career stakes win off a pair of allowance victories.
The Itsmyluckyday filly, with five victories from nine career starts, kicked off her 2020 campaign getting beaten by a neck in a first level allowance on January 20 at Charles Town. She followed up with a win in the same condition on February 6 at Charles Town, before shipping to Aqueduct to capture an optional-claiming race on February 21. Looking to capitalize on her success at the Big A, O’Dwyer said Ilchester Cheetah has trained forwardly coming into this race from his base at Laurel Park.
“She’s an easy filly to train,” said O’Dwyer. “Her confidence is especially peaking right now, coming in off two wins. It certainly also encouraged us to return to Aqueduct for this race knowing she’s won over the track. You can’t deny that experience and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
With Jose Lezcano aboard, Ilchester Cheetah will leave from post 5.
Two Sixty [Kendrick Carmouche, post 2] will be in search of a third stakes score for trainer Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber. The Uncaptured bay won the My Dear Girl in September at Gulfstream Park and kicked off her sophomore season with a win in the Gasparilla at Tampa Bay Downs on January 18. Two Sixty will now cut back in distance following a fifth-place finish in the Suncoast on February 8 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Rounding out the field is Alfonso Cammarota’s Miss Marissa [Eric Cancel, post 4] for trainer Jimmy Ryerson, who enters following a fourth-place finish in the Wide Century on February 15 at Laurel Park.
The Cicada is scheduled as Race 3 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 1:30 p.m. Eastern.