She didn’t score the way a 1-4 favorite is supposed to, but Mercedes Stables’ Seattle Smooth made a big move in the final furlong and ran down a pair of rivals in the final strides to win the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO) by a three-quarters of a length May 16 at Belmont Park.
A 4-year-old daughter of Quiet American, Seattle Smooth bagged her fourth consecutive victory while being ridden by Ramon Dominguez and completed one mile on the fast main track in 1:35.94. The bay filly entered the race off wins in the Go For Wand at Delaware Park, Fitz Dixon Cotillion (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park, and most recently, a 5 3/4-length romp in the April 18 Bed o’ Roses (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
In the Shuvee, Seattle Smooth broke from the rail but found herself near the back in the early going. Granted Tiger set the pace in a tightly-bunched field of six fillies and mares, clicking off splits of :23.30, :45.89, and 1.10.57. Are We Dreamin and Color Me Up were right on her heels the whole way, while Sea Chanter made a bold four-wide move to get in contention around the turn.
Granted Tiger had enough when they hit the top of the lane, as Color Me Up and Cornelio Velasquez struck the front. The Aptitude filly raced in the lead for much of the stretch, with Sea Chanter giving chase just to her outside. But Seattle Smooth, swung four-wide for her stretch run, also got into the mix inside the sixteenth pole and out-finished her rivals in the final yards.
Color Me Up settled for runner-up, a half-length ahead of Sea Chanter and Jose Lezcano.
Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Oscar Benavides and Darley, Seattle Smooth is out of the Seattle Song mare Our Seattle Star. She has now produced a 6-1-1 record from 12 starts and has earned $791,160. She is trained by Tony Dutrow, who took over conditioning duties just before the Go For Wand.
The winner paid $2.50, $2.20, and $2.10. The exacta (1-4) returned $26 and the trifecta (1-4-5) was $64.