09/20/2008 12:00AM

Seattle Smooth upsets Proud Spell


Seattle Smooth damaged Proud Spell's bid to nail down the 3-year-old filly championship and may have forced trainer Larry Jones to alter his plans by scoring an emphatic 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 2, $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park.

Proud Spell, sent off as the 1-2 favorite in a field reduced to six 3-year-old fillies by the scratch of Never Retreat, had to settle for second, a neck in front of 60-1 pacesetter Color Me Up, after going wide coming into the stretch while making a belated rally.

"Turning for home I just got forced way out into the track," said Proud Spell's jockey, Gabriel Saez. "I'm not beating anyone like that."

A win by Proud Spell would have given her two Grade 1 and three Grade 2 stakes victories this season, and she might well have rested on those laurels. Now, in order to strengthen Proud Spell's Eclipse Award credentials, Jones may need to take her to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic.

"We came here with a big bull's-eye on our back and got beat by a little race riding," Jones said. "We were packing a good bit more weight than the others and in that scenario, you look to get yourself a nice clean trip. Today we got anything but."

Seattle Smooth ($8.40), ridden by Jose Lezcano for the first time, went past Color Me Up inside the eighth pole and drew off, completing 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.58.

"I'm overwhelmed," said trainer Tony Dutrow. "Larry and my brother Rick both came here with great fillies in Proud Spell and By the Light, and we beat them. This is just a tremendous win."

By the Light, a New York-based filly who had six wins and a second in her first seven career starts finished fourth, 7 1/2 lengths behind Color Me Up.