Mercedes Stables' Seattle Smooth, who took down eventual 3-year-old champion filly Proud Spell in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) last out, will return from a seven-month layoff and make her seasonal debut in the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct April 18.
Any rival having to face the exceptional mare Hystericalady would have a hard time, no matter when or where it is. But having to do it at Monmouth Park, where she has proven to like the surface, and in the $300,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II), an event she won by daylight last season, make it an even more unenviable task.
Since her tough luck loss in last year's Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I), all Ginger Punch has done is reel off five grade I or II victories and collect the Eclipse Award for top older female. On June 14 the Awesome Again mare will return to Belmont for some unfinished business as the overwhelming favorite in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps.
Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) runner-up Hystericalady seeks her fifth graded stakes victory and will likely be an odds-on choice to do so, as she faces five challengers in the $300,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) June 14 at Churchill Downs.
Jeff Singer's Cowgirl's Don't Cry went straight to the front and never looked back, scoring the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/4 lengths under Mike Luzzi to earn the biggest win of her career May 17 at Belmont Park.
The timing was perfect once again for Rite Moment, who won Aqueduct's $158,100 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr.II) for her third consecutive stakes victory April 19.
A small but accomplished group of 4-year-old fillies will clash in the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) April 19 on the dirt at Aqueduct, including three entering off of graded stakes victories. The seven-furlong Bed o' Roses drew a field of six.
Edward Seltzer's Wow Me Free started slowly and trailed the field around the first turn, but the poor start did little to deter the daughter of Menifee, as she took over in mid-stretch and powered to a convincing 3 -length victory in the $104,400 Next Move Handicap (gr. III) March 29 at Aqueduct.
Kiaran McLaughlin will certainly have the odds in his favor March 29, as the veteran trainer will saddle three of the five entrants in the $100,000 Next Move Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/8-mile dirt test for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
Grade II winner Pure Prize came up with his first winner when his daughter, Cowgirls Don't Cry, won April 28 at Keeneland.
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