OZONE PARK, N.Y. -- Trainer Tony Dutrow says Seattle Smooth won't be at her best when she returns from a seven-month layoff in Saturday's $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap at Aqueduct. She may not have to be in order to win the Grade 2 race for fillies and mares.
Dutrow is using the seven-furlong Bed o' Roses as a way to kick off Seattle Smooth's 4-year-old season, one in which the goal is "to win a Grade 1 with her."
Seattle Smooth showed Grade 1 ability last summer when she won two stakes in a three-week period for Dutrow, who got the filly after she displayed inconsistent form on the synthetic surfaces in Southern California. Seattle Smooth won Delaware Park's Go for Wand Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths before upsetting eventual 3-year-old filly champion Proud Spell in the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park.
Since Seattle Smooth wasn't going to return to Santa Anita's synthetic surface for the Breeders' Cup, the decision was made to put her away for the year. Seattle Smooth shows seven breezes since Feb. 21 leading to this start.
"We do not have her ready to be at her very best Saturday," Dutrow said. "We do have her ready to run. We feel like after Saturday she will be where we want her to be for the rest of the summer. I would rather her win than lose, but this is a starting point."
Six were entered against Seattle Smooth, but not all are expected to run. Cowgirls Don't Cry and Spritely are both cross-entered in Saturday night's $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town. Cowgirls Don't Cry is likely to run in Charles Town, trainer Michael Trombetta said. Spritely could run here after drawing post 10 at Charles Town. Lovely Isle could also scratch.
With or without Spritely, trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented in the Bed o' Roses with Distorted Passion, who could be the major threat to Seattle Smooth. Distorted Passion has 3 wins and 2 seconds in her last 5 starts, including a runner-up finish to odds-on favorite Secret Gypsy in the Grade 2 Distaff. Secret Gypsy went wire to wire in that race after vying for the lead with Zada Belle, who broke down on the backstretch.
"I thought she ran well. She was kind of stuck inside and kept trying the whole way," Pletcher said of Distorted Passion. "With the misfortune that Zada Belle had, that let Secret Gypsy loose on the lead and that hurt the horses in the race trying to close. She ran on to the wire well. The extra eighth should be beneficial."
Awesome I Am and Are We Dreamin complete the field.