05/17/2007 11:00PM

One filly sufficient for Breen


Trainer Kelly Breen considered tackling Sunday’s $60,000 Just Smashing Stakes at Monmouth Park from two angles, with the speedy Eternal Grace hitting early, and late-running True Addiction coming late. Both 3-year-old fillies were nominated to the six-furlong Just Smashing, but in the end, Breen stuck True Addiction – second in the Grade 2 Adirondack last summer at Saratoga – in race 7, an entry-level allowance, and Eternal Grace will go it alone in the Just Smashing.

The one filly might be enough. Eternal Grace, with Joe Bravo named to ride, could go favored, a role in which she has succeeded half the time. Eternal Grace comfortably won her career debut last July at Monmouth as the chalk, but two months later – with an assist from a tough trip – she was narrowly defeated as the odds-on choice in the Sorority Stakes. Eternal Grace had a disappointing end to her 2-year-old campaign, finishing a distant sixth in the Grade 1 Matron at Belmont, but rebounded in her 3-year-old debut, winning an entry-level allowance at Gulfstream Park. In her most recent start, she finished a creditable sixth in the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland after racing against the prevailing closer bias.

“I’m not sure that she really liked the Polytrack, either,” Breen said.

Eternal Grace was a precocious 2-year-old, but Breen said he has reason to believe she still has upside at age 3.

“I think that she has really developed,” he said. “She’s stronger, she’s been rating kindly in the mornings for workouts – she’s schooled and ready to go.”

But Eternal Grace should have competition. Glacken’s Mark, from Todd Pletcher’s barn, and the Ben Perkins-trained Deep Dish Wildcats are front-end types who should at least force a hot pace, but the big threat might be Princess Janie, who showed talent over the winter at Gulfstream. A good second of 12 after breaking from a wide post in her Feb. 25 career debut, Princess Janie came back a month later with a sharp maiden win over 10 rivals.

If the front-runners flame out, Dynamite Diva, who closed from eighth to win a Gulfstream allowance in her most recent start, would have a chance to pick up the pieces.