Exotics Plays for the 2023 Cicada Stakes
A compact field of six sophomore fillies will travel six panels on the Aqueduct dirt in Saturday’s $100,000 Cicada S. Conditioner Linda Rice has a talented pair of youngsters in the cast, led by the unbeaten #3 Downtown Mischief. The New York-bred three-year-old will be the key in my wagers.
Downtown Mischief debuted on the surface on January 14 and drew off to an impressive, 7 3/4-length romp at today’s distance. In that dash, the Lady Sheila homebred tracked the pace from second to the top of the lane and readily took command in the stretch under Jose Lezcano. She then handled a sloppy, sealed oval in her second career assignment when defeating a solid prospect in a subsequent allowance encounter.
The bay filly faces an obvious class test on the rise up with open stakes foes, but she has done little wrong from two tries to date, and she has displayed push-button acceleration on both occasions. I envision Downtown Mischief to sit just off the early tempo prior to making her move in early stretch on Saturday.
#1 Tappin Josie comes in with victories in five of her last six assignments and can’t be taken lightly in the cast for conditioner Horacio de Paz. By Anchor Down, the Pennsylvania-bred sophomore was a smart stakes heroine at Parx in her most recent venture and seems poised to give a fine account of herself while making her local bow. The bay combines good tactical speed with a nice closing punch in the lane, and she figures to sit a nice trip a bit off of the pace to the head of the stretch. Kevin Gomez comes in to guide the $15,000 yearling purchase.
#2 Hot Little Thing is the speed of the affair and could be dangerous on the cut back from a route race in her juvenile finale for trainer Rodolphe Brisset. The $80,000 two-year-old purchase dusted Indiana-bred stakes foes by a whopping 14 lengths two back, and if she runs to that performance, then the daughter of Army Mule will be a factor despite facing much better horses in this spot. The chestnut filly has been working well in advance of her 2023 debut and regular pilot Alex Achard comes in to retain the ride, which I view as a major positive. She will be sent from the opening bell.
Cicada Exotics Wagers