Golden Dawn won the Barbara Fritchie in February at Laurel Park.

Golden Dawn won the Barbara Fritchie in February at Laurel Park.

Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

Proven Fillies Clash in Bed o' Roses

Four of the six entered April 19 have won graded stakes in their careers.

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.

Marty Cunningham’s Golden Dawn, John and Susan Moore’s Lady Marlboro, and Winning Move Stable and partners’ Rite Moment each scored in their last start. In addition, Stonerside Stable and Oakcrest Farm’s Sutra is a former grade I winner who may be close to returning to her best form. It should all make for a competitive contest.

Golden Dawn has romped by six lengths in each of her last two starts, and has won three of four since breaking her maiden last November. The daughter of Hennessy opened her 4-year-old campaign by destroying foes in the six-furlong Fiesta Lady Jan. 9 at Aqueduct, the routed rivals five weeks later at Laurel Park in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap, both under Channing Hill.

“I haven’t been on her in the mornings since the Fritchie, but I’ve watched her a few times and she looks great,” said Hill, who scored his first career graded stakes win in that event. “She’s going out there and training like a bearcat. I was so impressed by her. She handled the ship to Maryland real well. I was a little worried she didn’t want to be inside, but she overcame that and it showed how much heart she has.”

Golden Dawn needed six starts to break into the win column, but has been on the top of her game ever since being transferred into the barn of Michael Hushion last winter. In her three starts at Aqueduct, the chestnut filly has two wins and second. Bred in Kentucky by Brian Scott Dance and out of the Carson City mare Paved in Gold, she will break from post four with Hill in the irons.

Lady Marlboro has also been hot lately, taking two of her last three starts for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. The Smoke Glacken filly began her streak last fall at Belmont when she won the Life’s Magic Stakes by five lengths. After getting nosed out in the Top Flight (gr. II) to end her 3-year-old campaign, the bay filly started 2008 by taking the one-mile Sabin Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 6 at Gulfstream Park, as she stalked the pace and then pulled away in the stretch to win by 2 ½ lengths.

Lady Marlboro has been off the board just twice in 11 career starts. She will break from the inside under regular rider Javier Castellano.

Rite Moment might have the biggest advantage, based on her recent success at Aqueduct. A daughter of Vicar, she has won four of her last five starts after being transferred into the barn of Gary Contessa, all at the Big ‘A.’ The bay filly earned her first graded stakes in her most recent outing, a one-length triumph in the six-furlong Distaff Handicap (gr. II) March 22. She has also won in New York over an off track, and her only setback was by a half-length in the Correction Handicap after breaking very slowly.

Rite Moment will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh.

Injuries cut the 3-year-old season of Sutra short, but since returning to action this year the Meadowlake filly has been much improved. Trained by Michael Stidham, Sutra won the Frizette (gr. I) in her third career outing, but was forced to take the second half of 2007 off with back problems. She has an allowance win and a pair of runner-up performances in stakes company this year.

“She never seemed to run well or train well over the Polytrack at Keeneland," said Stidham, who took the filly to Fair Grounds this winter. “We’ve tried to keep her on dirt as much as possible. She ran very well at Oaklawn (March 29 in Carousel Stakes), but just got outrun by a nice filly. She’s trained well since.”

$150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II, Race 9, 4:53 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, Seven Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Lady Marlboro (KY), 118, Javier Castellano
2. Sutra (KY), 116, Michael J. Luzzi
3. Rite Moment (KY), 117, Rajiv Maragh
4. Golden Dawn (KY), 117, Channing Hill
5. You Asked (FL), 113, Cornelio H. Velasquez
6. Cowgirls Don't Cry (KY), 113, Alan Garcia