05/07/2012 2:00PM

Belmont: Her Smile should enjoy return

Barbara D. Livingston
Her Smile sold at auction for $1 million.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Chad Brown hopes a return to Belmont Park will result in a return to the winner’s circle for Her Smile, who heads a five-horse field entered in Wednesday’s $85,000 Marta Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Last year, when owned by Bobby Flay and trained by Todd Pletcher, Her Smile won the Grade 1 Prioress going six furlongs at Belmont. Her Smile finished the year with three losses, though she did run a good third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Sent through the Fasig-Tipton auction ring last Nov. 7, Her Smile was purchased for $1 million by Frank Stronach, who turned her over to Brown.

This winter, Her Smile raced twice at Gulfstream, finishing third in the Hurricane Bertie and sixth in the Inside Information. Brown doesn’t believe that Her Smile, a closer, cared for Gulfstream’s surface.

“She’s got the Grade 1 win over Belmont’s track. Track really shouldn’t be an excuse for her,” Brown said. “So, hopefully it’s a spot to get her confidence up and hopefully she can get the job done.”

Her Smile is reliant on pace, and in this short field there doesn’t seem to be much of it, which Brown admitted is a concern.

“Sooner or later she needs to get it together and put a ‘W’ up there on the board,” Brown said.

Javier Castellano rides Her Smile from post 5.

Aquitania shipped from Maryland to Aqueduct in March and won the Lynclar Stakes. Last time out, Aquitania finished second to the talented Bold Affair in the Primonetta Stakes at Pimlico.

“I thought she ran as good a race as she ever ran even though she got beat,” said trainer Hamilton Smith.

For the fourth time in five starts, Aquitania will be breaking from the rail. Though she has never won a graded stakes, Aquitania is the 124-pound highweight and will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

Erin Rose returns to the races for the first time since last June 4, when she emerged from a last-place finish in the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap here “very sore,” according to trainer Christophe Clement. She was give time off to recover, and Clement chose this spot because it has been difficult finding a third-level allowance race.

“This is obviously ambitious, but the filly is doing well and training very well, and we always thought she was a bit better than what she has done so far, so I guess we’ll find out,” Clement said.

My Sunshine Gal, who could play out as the speed, and Belle of the Hall, who finished behind Her Smile in the Hurricane Bertie and Inside Information, complete the field.