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.
A field of seven is entered for the seven-furlong Bed o’ Roses, which is the feature on Aqueduct’s 10-race program. Several have a big shot in the main track contest, including Jeff Singer’s Cowgirls Don't Cry, who is the only other graded stakes winner in the field.
Seattle Smooth will cut back to a sprint distance for the first time since October 2007, when she was making her second career start. Last year, as a sophomore, she won three stakes beginning with the Bay Meadows Oaks in April. Three starts later she scored the Go for Wand Stakes at Delaware Park, and then on Sept. 20, pulled away from Proud Spell in the stretch to record a 2 1/2-length triumph in the Fitz Dixon. She is trained by Tony Dutrow.
Bred in Kentucky by Darley and Dr. Oscar Benavides, Seattle Smooth is by Quiet American, out of the Seattle Song mare Our Seattle Star. A $340,000 yearling, she has already earned $611,160 from 10 starts. Ramon Dominguez will get the mount.
Cowgirls Don’t Cry won twice last year after missing more than a year and a half of racing action between the second half of 2006 and the start of 2008. One of those wins came last May in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont when going wire-to-wire in a 2 1/4-length score. Racing for Kiaran McLaughlin at the time, the Pure Prize filly ended her season with off-the-board efforts in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) and Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II).
Now 5, Cowgirls Don’t Cry has moved into the barn of Michael Trombetta. She returned from a seven-month layoff and opened her 2009 campaign with a front-running score in a seven-furlong allowance at Charles Town March 28. Raymundo Fuentes has the ride.
Todd Pletcher, who also used to train Cowgirls Don’t Cry, has a contender in Distorted Passion. The daughter of Distorted Humor was impressive March 21 when finishing second, just 1 1/4 lengths back of Secret Gypsy in the six-furlong Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct. The bay filly has made her last four starts at the Big A, including a victory in the Jan. 31 Correction Handicap to begin her 4-year-old campaign. Cornelio Velasquez will ride for Gulf Coast Farms.
Also in with a chance for Pletcher is Edward Evans’ Spritely, a speedy 4-year-old Touch Gold filly who is expected to be a pacesetter. Spritely has gone wire-to-wire in three of her four career victories, including last out when taking a one-mile optional claimer by nearly seven lengths March 20 at Aqueduct. Charles C. Lopez will be in the irons once again.