ACORN STAKES | PURSE: $300,000 | GRADE 1 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | 1 MILE
ELMONT, N.Y. -- It's Tricky is an inclement weather kind of horse.
After two dominant wins at Aqueduct during the winter – including an allowance victory in the snow – It's Tricky earned a trip to south Florida, where she wilted in the heat in the Gulfstream Oaks. Back in New York, It's Tricky relished the rainy and muddy conditions at Belmont Park, upsetting the heavily favored Turbulent Descent by 3 3/4 lengths in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Turbulent Descent, the 3-5 favorite, finished second by 10 lengths over Her Smile. Victoria's Wildcat, Snow Fall, and Savvy Supreme completed the order of finish.
It's Tricky, a daughter of Mineshaft owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is now 4 for 5 in her career. Her lone loss came at Gulfstream, where, according to McLaughlin "she didn't do well.'' Ordinarily a difficult filly to train, It's Tricky appeared quiet in Florida and ran a dull race in the Gulfstream Oaks, where she was beaten 22 lengths.
McLaughlin said he immediately shipped the filly back to New York, where "it took a little while for her to come around,'' McLaughlin said. When she did, McLaughlin thought about trying her in the Acorn, which drew a short field.
Under Eddie Castro, It's Tricky stalked the pacesetting Savvy Supreme through a quarter in 22.97 seconds and a half-mile in 45.90. It's Tricky moved outside of Savvy Supreme at the quarter pole and took command turning for home.
Though Turbulent Descent attempted to make a run at It's Tricky, she was no match for her in the stretch. It's Tricky covered the mile in the mud in 1:35.49 and returned $22.
"Wow! Wow!'' McLaughlin screamed as he watched the race on television in the tunnel that leads from the paddock to the track. "That's great. This is a big win. This is unbelievable, one of our biggest wins of the year. Grade 1's are hard to come by.''
Turbulent Descent, fifth early under David Flores, made a three-wide sweep into contention at the quarter pole and had the length of the stretch to run It's Tricky down but couldn't do it. To his credit, Mike Puype, the trainer of Turbulent Descent, offered no excuses.
"We turned for home, we looked good, we were in position,'' Puype said. "I didn't run a short horse; I'm not going to tell you she didn't handle the track The other filly ran big.''