02/25/2009 12:00AM

Distorted Passion a reliable choice


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Problem trip or perfect trip, it hasn't mattered much this winter to Distorted Passion, who seeks her third stakes win of the inner-track meet when she runs in Friday's $65,000 Feel the Beat Stakes at Aqueduct.

Distorted Passion overcame a troubled trip to win the Foil Stakes by a neck on Dec. 14. That race produced five next-out winners, including Distorted Passion herself, who enjoyed a much easier trip in winning the Correction Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths on Jan.o31.

Overall, Distorted Passion has won three consecutive starts, beginning with a first-level allowance race at Churchill Downs in November. In fact, the last time Distorted Passion lost on dirt, she was beaten by One Caroline, who remained undefeated by winning last Friday's Grade 3 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

"She's been a consistent, hard-trying filly," Jonathan Thomas, Todd Pletcher's New York assistant, said of Distorted Passion. "Two starts back she had to overcome some adversity with that run up the rail. I thought her last race was very professional. She rated very kindly, waited for Rajiv [Maragh] to ask her. It was a lot less eventful."

Maragh will ride Distorted Passion from post 5 on Friday.

The Pletcher stable will also send out Awesome Ashley, who has been far less consistent this winter than her stablemate. She was beaten 20 lengths in the You'd Be Surprised, won the Plankton, and then ran third in the Get Lucky. All those races were around two turns. On Friday, she cuts back to one turn.

"If the pace scenario develops where there's a legitimate pace, she could feasibly be there," Thomas said.

The biggest threat to Distorted Passion appears to be A Rose for You, who finished fourth as the favorite behind Distorted Passion in the Correction. A Rose for You was forced to steady at the three-eighths pole and again at the quarter pole while stuck on the inside for most of the trip.

"Just a rough trip," trainer Michael Trombetta said. "Had she had a better trip she would have run a little bit better I'm sure."

Trombetta entered A Rose for You in the Barbara Fritchie on Feb. 14, but she was scratched because of a respiratory infection.

Intentional Fever, second in the Interborough and third in the Correction, and Labadeel, who goes out first off the claim for trainer Gary Contessa, were both supplemented to this race.