James McIngvale's 36-1 longshot Workaholic lived up to her moniker, making up ground in deep stretch before overtaking 6-5 favorite Miss Imperial in the final furlong to win the 27th running of the $100,000 Cicada for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Out of the gate, Workaholic stayed off the early speed as a pair of New York-breds – Forgotten Hero and previously undefeated Stonesintheroad – dueled at the front, with the latter leading the six-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.24 seconds and the half in 46.88 on the main track labeled fast.
Out of the turn, the Jason Servis-trained Miss Imperial, ridden by Manny Franco took command from Stonesintheroad from the outside. Workaholic, making just her second stakes appearance, made her late bid under jockey Cory Orm, gaining ground in deep stretch before overtaking Miss Imperial and posting a three-quarter length victory, completing six furlongs in a 1:13.19 final time.
“She's usually a filly that you want on the front end, but there was a lot of speed in the race and she settled very kindly on her own,” said Orm, who posted his first career stakes win in more than 4,100 starts since 2010. “On the turn, she really got going and down the lane I was really happy with her. We knew she had it in her [to win a stakes], we're just pleasantly surprised to finally get it.”
Workaholic returned $75.50 on a $2 win bet and has finished on the board in five straight starts, including wins in two of her last four races. The Laura Wohlers-trainee increased her career bankroll to $137,668.
The win marked Wohlers' first stakes win since Runhappy's victory in the 2015 Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita, along with her first-ever stakes win at a New York Racing Association track.
“She's very game. I don't think I've had any horse, with the exception of Runhappy, that runs as hard as this little filly runs every time,” Wohlers said. “I was going to be happy if she hit the board, but when she got up there and took the lead, it put tears in my eyes. I'm just so proud of her.
“Cory is a good young rider and he's ridden the filly and has confidence in her,” she added. “She seems to want to run to the front. When she didn't make the break and got a little bit cut off, I thought Cory did a really good job to just relax and not fight her or get her in a bunch of trouble. She went out there and ran her heart out like she always does.”
Miss Imperial completed the exacta, finishing four lengths ahead of Stonesintheroad, who entered 3-for-3 for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.
Completing the order of finish was Guacamole, a Silver member of the NYRA Starter Loyalty Program, followed by Two Dozen Roses and Forgotten Hero. Ark in the Dark and Equal the Score were scratched.
Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card, featuring a Pick 6 carryover of $18,169, starting with Race 4. First post is 1:30 p.m.
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