06/13/2009 12:00AM

Seattle Smooth wins fifth straight in Phipps

Email
Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Seattle Smooth grabs a 1 1/4-length victory over Seventh Street in Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Long-range plans in racing usually turn out to be comical and fruitless. But the plan trainer Tony Dutrow devised for the filly Seattle Smooth last fall came to fruition Saturday when Seattle Smooth wore down Seventh Street to win the at Belmont Park.

It was the fifth consecutive victory for Seattle Smooth, but her first Grade 1, the goal that Dutrow had for Seattle Smooth when he stopped on her following her victory in last September's Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes over eventual 3-year-old filly champion Proud Spell.

"It's just been incredible how after the race you could sit down and draw it up on paper and in the next eight or nine months it could unfold that way," said Dutrow, who trains Seattle Smooth for Ernie Moody's Mercedes Stables.

Her victory in the Phipps followed Grade 2 scores in the Bed o' Roses at Aqueduct in April and the Shuvee here in May.

Seattle Smooth had to slay the three-headed entry from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, sent off at 1-4. But Seattle Smooth, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, had some help as Music Note, under Javier Castellano, and Sea Chanter, Eibar Coa up, moved in tandem at the half-mile. That put unnecessary pressure on their entrymate Seventh Street, who was sitting just off the leader, My Dinah, after a half run in 46.36 seconds.

At the three-eighths pole, Dominguez found himself behind a wall of four horses, just seeking room. Turning for home, Dominguez tipped Seattle Smooth three-wide and she outfinished a stubborn Seventh Street to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Seattle Smooth, a daughter of Quiet American, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.13 over a good track and returned $6.20 as the second choice.

It was 2 1/4 lengths back to Sea Chanter, who was followed by My Dinah, Music Note, Color Me Up, and Nicksappealinglady.

"Our situation brightened at the top of the stretch when they all went like that," Dutrow said. "I don't know their motive, but I was happy Seattle Smooth was sitting beautiful."

Rajiv Maragh, aboard Seventh Street, also didn't understand the motives of Castellano and Coa, the latter a substitute for the ailing John Velazquez, who did not ride Saturday. Maragh said he was forced to move earlier than he wanted.

"It might have made a difference between winning and losing when you lose by [1 1/4] lengths," Maragh said.

There was a minus place pool of $114,385. Of the $592,630 wagered to place, $566,108 was placed on the Godolphin/Darley entry. Show wagering was not available.