It’s Tricky barreled into the lead at the top of the stretch and held off heavy favorite Turbulent Descent to upset Saturday afternoon’s 81st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 TVG Acorn on the Belmont Stakes undercard at Belmont Park.
Ridden by Eddie Castro, the 3-year-old Mineshaft filly stayed just off early fractions of 22.97 and 45.90 set by Savvy Supreme, then moved up eagerly on the turn and forged to the front with Turbulent Descent in hot pursuit. The 3-4 favorite came within striking distance with a furlong to go, but It’s Tricky dug in to pull clear through the final yards for the 3 ¾-length victory.
Her time for the mile was 1:35.48 over a muddy track.
“She handled [the wet track] really well,” said Castro. “I put her where I did in the other two races I rode, and then I waited. When we got in the stretch, she kicked in nicely.”
The victory was the fourth in five starts for It’s Tricky, who won her first three races, including the Busher at Aqueduct on February 20, before finishing fourth, beaten 22 ½ lengths, in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks on April 2.
“She just didn’t do well with the heat [in Florida],” said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
It’s Tricky, sent off at 10-1, returned $22 for a $2 win bet and earned $180,000 for Darley Stable as she more than doubled her bankroll to $288,000.
Turbulent Descent, now 5-2-0 from seven starts, was 10 lengths clear of Her Smile.
“She got outrun,” said Mike Puype, trainer of the beaten favorite. “The filly on the lead ran big.”
Completing the order of finish were Victoria’s Wildcat, Snow Fall, and Savvy Supreme.
McLaughlin said the next start for It’s Tricky could be the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park on June 25, but that he was more inclined to await the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23 and the Grade 1 Alabama on August 20, both at Saratoga Race Course.
“We’ll talk to the Darley people and let them decide,” he said.