01/14/2013 1:41PM

Aqueduct: Smoldering Beauty returns to show off her speed

Barbara D. Livingston
Breaking from the rail under Irad Ortiz Jr. on Wednesday, Smoldering Beauty looks strictly like the one to catch.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Fragile but fast, Smoldering Beauty makes another return from a lengthy layoff when she tops a five-horse field entered Wednesday at Aqueduct in a $62,000 allowance sprint for fillies and mares who have never won two races.

This is one of two six-furlong allowance races on Wednesday’s nine-race program, which starts a six-day week of racing at the Big A culminating with Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day card.

In the summer of 2011, Smoldering Beauty showed enough speed in the morning to have the Monmouth Park bettors buzzing. Sent off at even money in a 10-horse field, Smoldering Beauty disappointed, finishing fifth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

Away from the races for nine months, Smoldering Beauty won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Pimlico on the Pimlico Special undercard, again sent off at even money in a 10-horse field.

“You look at her morning workouts – she shows her talent,” trainer Kelly Breen said. “She’s meant to be a nice horse. She’s a fast filly out of a fast mare, [by] a fast stallion.”

Smoldering Beauty, a George and Lori Hall homebred daughter of Smoke Glacken, is again showing herself in the morning with two bullet workouts, including a half-mile in 48.56 seconds on Dec. 31 that was the fastest of 125 works and a half-mile in 46.15, the fastest of 58 moves on Jan. 6.

Breaking from the rail under the returning Irad Ortiz Jr. on Wednesday, Smoldering Beauty looks strictly like the one to catch in this compact field.

If a horse like Tanglewood Tale or My Donna Jean attempts to burn out Smoldering Beauty up front, that could set things up for Awleyaa, who returns to New York after winning a maiden race at Laurel for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Nov. 29.

Earlier on the card, Comandante, a speedy 3-year-old colt from trainer Mike Trombetta’s Maryland barn, ships up seeking his second straight win in a New York-bred first-level allowance sprint.

Comandante, a son of Frost Giant, had finished second in his first three starts before breaking through with a 1 3/4-length maiden score on Dec. 15. The third-place finisher from that race, Ghostly Vision, came back to win here Saturday.

“Both of his races for us, he showed up both times,” said Trombetta, who took over the training of Comandante following his second start. “Not crazy about the inside post, but he’s got enough speed to stay out of trouble. I like that in his second start he sat off a horse and ran the way he was supposed to.”

Junior Alvarado will ride Comandante from the rail.

In Harm’s Way shortens up to six furlongs after running in third in the Bertram Bongard going seven furlongs on Oct. 20 and fourth in the Damon Runyon going a mile on Dec. 9.

Leilani’s Ticket makes his first start off the claim for trainer David Jacobson.