05/15/2009 11:00PM

Seattle Smooth battles for win

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Seattle Smooth wears down Color Me Up to win the Grade 2 Shuvee Stakes.

Giving her backers a few anxious moments - about 95 seconds' worth - Seattle Smooth was along in the nick of time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Shuvee Handicap at Belmont Park.

As the only graded stakes winner on dirt in the field of six fillies and mares, Seattle Smooth ($2.50) was dispatched as the 1-4 favorite under Ramon Dominguez. After breaking in good order, she was last of a tightly bunched group early as Granted Tiger set fractions of 23.30 seconds, 45.89, and 1:10.57 while pressed by longshots Are We Dreamin and Color Me Up.

Turning into the stretch, Seattle Smooth remained bottled up along the inside, altered course to the far outside with three-sixteenths of a mile remaining, and desperately wore down Color Me Up and second choice Sea Chanter in the final 50 yards.

Seattle Smooth ran the mile in 1:35.94 on a fast track and earned $90,000. Her last-ditch surge kept her perfect record on fast tracks intact at five wins from as many starts, but it wasn't pretty.

"It was a workmanlike effort, and she was in a dicey spot at the top of the stretch," winning trainer Tony Dutrow said. "They were going quick enough up front . . . I hear that the inside has not been as good for the last day or two, so that makes me feel a little good that she ran well down on the inside, and when [Dominguez] got her out, she finished up."

Color Me Up, who has won 2 of 19 career starts, held second despite drifting out steadily through the final stages. Sea Chanter, the only other graded stakes winner in the field, rallied wide and settled for third. Granted Tiger, Striking Tomisue, and Are We Dreamin completed the order of finish.