Smok'n Frolic Rallies for Cotillion Victory

Smok'n Frolic sat behind an early speed duel, then pulled clear in the stretch to win the $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Philadelphia Park.

Cat Rocket showed the way early on while pressed by Preferred Option through fractions of: 22.52 and :46.16. Jockey Jose Velez Jr. -– subbing for an injured Heberto Castillo Jr. -- kept Smok'n Frolic well off the contested early pace. Smok'n Frolic moved to the lead with an impressive wide move on the second turn, then drew away to complete the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.27 on a fast track.

"I had seen her run in New York, but I had never been on her before," said Velez. "They told me to just take my time. Let her break on her own, let her place herself and go from there. I had nice clear sailing on the outside."

Pupil, who raced just off the pace early on, finished second, 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Jilbab, favored Alternate, Sixtyone Margaux, Cat Rocket, Pass the Virtue, Spelling, and Preferred Option completed the order of finish.

Dogwood Stable's Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Smok'n Frolic entered the Cotillion winless in four starts this year. The daughter of Smoke Glacken, bred in Florida by Cherokee Farms and trained by Todd Pletcher, also won the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) and Fashion Stakes last year in New York.

Smok'n Frolic paid $20.80, $9.20, and $6.00. Pupil returned $9.20 and $5.40 and completed the $187.20 exacta. Jilbab paid $3.40 to show. (Chart, Equibase)