Phipps Stable's Smuggler, last year's Eclipse Award winning champion 3-year-old filly, makes her first start since July in Saturday's $150,000 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Aqueduct going seven furlongs.
Smuggler was very sharp posting grade I wins in the Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks, but sickness repeatedly kept her from doing more. While training up to the Alabama (gr. I) at Saratoga, Smuggler ran a temperature. Shortly after trainer Shug McGaughey thought the situation was under control, the daughter of champions Unbridled and Inside Information ran a temperature again. At that point, it was decided that the best thing for the promising filly was to give her some time off.
"She went to Kentucky for a couple of months, and we got her back at the barn in October," McGaughey said. "We breezed her once after the Breeders' Cup, and she got sick again."
McGaughey once again gave Smuggler more time off. She recorded her first work of the year March 12 at Gulfstream and has posted six steady breezes since.
"She's really enjoying what she's doing," said McGaughey. "She's bigger and stronger than she was last year. I'm really looking forward to getting her started."
Smuggler won her career debut at six furlongs rallying from well off the pace, but all her races since have been at a mile or over.
"Seven furlongs is probably not her best distance, but it should get her ready to run longer," McGaughey admitted.
Jockey Edgar Prado has the riding assignment on Smuggler, who will be the starting high weight at 122 pounds.$150,000 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:21 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Annika Lass (FL), 114, Channing Hill
2. Trickle of Gold (KY), 115, Jeremy Rose
3. Magnolia Jackson (NY), 115, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
4. Slew Motion (NY), 114, Richard Migliore
5. Grecian Lover (FL), 114, Mike Smith
6. Great Intentions (KY), 116, Pablo Morales
7. Smuggler (KY), 122, Edgar Prado