Updated on 09/16/2011 8:22AM

Dangerous treading in Distaff


BALTIMORE - Trainers hoping to use Friday's $150,000 Pimlico Distaff as an easy prep for more prestigious races down the road, received a rude awakening when they picked up the list of entries for Friday's Grade 3 race at Pimlico.

Six of the 12 horses entered in the 1 1/16-mile race are graded or group stakes winners, topped by Dancethruthedawn, Summer Colony, and Fleet Renee.

Dancethruthedawn, who as a 3-year-old won the Queens Plate and Woodbine Oaks but flopped in the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama, was ultra-impressive winning the Doubledogdare last month at Keeneland off an eight-month layoff. She earned a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 110, begging the question whether she'll bounce on Friday.

"She's had a month off, she's been training great, working super," trainer Mark Frostad said. "I'm not worried about that all."

Fleet Renee, winner of the Ashland and Mother Goose as a 3-year-old, has not been out since finishing third in the Gazelle Handicap in September. Of course, her trainer, Michael Dickinson, is legendary for his work with horses coming off a layoff, and Fleet Renee is scheduled to be ridden by Jerry Bailey.

Summer Colony, who had a five-race winning streak snapped when beaten by Forest Secrets in the Rampart, received a bad break at the post draw for the Distaff. Initially drawn in post 3, Summer Colony was assigned post 12 when the race was re-drawn because Stanza was inadvertently left out of the race.

With his plethora of handicap fillies, Mark Hennig picked the Distaff for Summer Colony as a prep for longer races such as the Delaware Handicap and the Personal Ensign.

Hennig believes Summer Colony may not have run her best in the Rampart because she was still feeling the effects of her cross-country trip to California where she won the La Canada at Santa Anita. Summer Colony enters the race with a pair of bullet workouts at Belmont.

"She's doing really well, but I don't particularly like the post and I don't particularly like the mile and a sixteenth," Hennig said. "But we got to get going, we got a lot bigger fish to fry."

Though Saturday's Shuvee Handicap at Belmont looks like an easier spot for Atelier, trainer Shug McGaughey will run in the Distaff instead. McGaughey, who won this race last year with Serra Lake and in 1993 with Deputation, believes two turns is better for Atelier.

Mcdynamo heads Aitcheson field

Mcdynamo, winner of the Grade 1 Hard Scuffle at Churchill Downs, will seek his fourth consecutive victory over hurdles when he heads an 11-horse field entered in the $100,000 Grade 1 Joe Aitcheson Stakes.

Mcdynamo has excelled since moving to steeplechase racing, going 3 for 3 for trainer Sanna Neilson. Rider Craig Thornton has the return call.

Six of the 11 horses entered in the Aitcheson come out of the Hard Scuffle, including third-place finisher Miles Ahead, who might move forward in his second start off a seven-month layoff.

A potential upsetter is Anofferyoucantrefuse, who was 2 for 3 over the jumps last summer, but makes his first start since last Aug. 29, for trainer Tommy Voss.

* Flying Birdie, who is unbeaten at five furlongs on turf or dirt, is the one to beat in a full field of 12 set to go in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes, scheduled for five furlongs on turf.