03/20/2010 12:00AM

Seattle Smooth gets back to work

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Seattle Smooth, who has won five consecutive stakes, including the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps last summer, returned to the work tab Saturday morning, breezing four furlongs in 51 seconds at Palm Meadows. It was her first published work since she captured the Phipps at Belmont on June 13.

Trainer Tony Dutrow said Seattle Smooth was sent to the sidelines last summer with some bruising of her ankles.

"She was under Dr. [Larry] Bramlage's care. She had X-rays every 30 days til Larry was satisfied it was time to go on."

Dutrow believes Seattle Smooth could be ready to return to the races in May. A possible target for her is the Grade 2 Shuvee at Belmont on May 15, a race she won last year. Seattle Smooth has gone 5 for 5 for Dutrow, a streak that began with the Go for Wand Stakes at Delaware Park on Aug. 30, 2008, and included the Fitz Dixon Cotillion, the Bed o' Roses, Shuvee, and Phipps.

"I'm not seeing anything wrong with doing the Shuvee and Ogden Phipps again," Dutrow said. "I will have to have a conversation with the owners."

Seattle Smooth is owned by Ernie Moody's Mercedes Stables.

Ribaudo weighs options for Qualia

Qualia has won two allowance races over Gulfstream Park's main track this winter, but trainer Robert Ribaudo isn't sure whether to step her up into stakes company next time. She is nominated to the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff at Aqueduct on April 17.

"She's doing pretty good, I don't know whether to go to the next level yet," Ribaudo said after the filly worked four furlongs in 48 seconds Saturday morning. "She's a lightly raced big filly who's not carrying as much weight as I'd like to see."

Qualia won a first-level allowance going six furlongs on Jan. 15 and then came back to win a second-level allowance going a mile by 1 3/4 lengths on Feb. 14.

"I'm still trying to figure out her best distance," Ribaudo said. "Her mile race wasn't as impressive as the other one when she got stopped; that made it more dramatic."

Ribaudo said that Qualia would likely to ship to New York at the beginning of April.

Garcia wins 1,000th race

Jockey Alan Garcia won the first two races on Saturday's card, his victory aboard Saint Eligius ($3.80) in the second being the 1,000th of his career.

Garcia, a 24-year-old native of Lima, Peru, was the New York Racing Association leading's rider in 2008, with 220 wins including an upset victory in the Belmont Stakes aboard Da' Tara.