10/14/2009 12:00AM

Smart Seattle's late run fits


LEXINGTON, Ky. - It's a Win and You're In race toward the Breeders' Cup, as well it should be. Whichever 2-year-old filly emerges best Thursday in the $150,000 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland surely will be worthy of a spot in the Nov. 6 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, considering all the depth in a race that figures to be dictated by a wicked pace.

Speed aplenty has signed up for the Jessamine, which shouldn't be unexpected, considering the nature of precocious, inexperienced horses. Half of the field of 12 has never raced around two turns, and even for some of the fillies who have, early speed has been a hallmark.

Knowing all that, a filly who can close effectively would seem at an advantage when the Jessamine is run at 1 1/16 miles on the Keeneland turf. Smart Seattle is one of those, having shown a solid kick in the two Saratoga turf races that began her career.

"She's shown ability already, so I would definitely like to run her in the Breeders' Cup if she runs her race Thursday," said Graham Motion, who trains Smart Seattle for the Augustin Stable of breeder-owner George Strawbridge Jr.

Smart Seattle rallied to win her Aug. 13 career debut at 5 1/2 furlongs, then was second as the favorite in the Sept. 3 P.G. Johnson when stretched out around two turns.

"It was asking a lot of her to come back on three weeks while also sending her long," said Motion.

Another Saratoga winner who may loom a stretch threat Thursday is House of Grace, who came from well back to win her first and only start Aug. 19. Ken McPeek, who won the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity here last weekend with Noble's Promise, is the trainer of House of Grace.

Other possibilities include Whydah for the red-hot Todd Pletcher stable, and the trio of Waynetta, Hatheer, and Lisa's Kitten, all of whom won two-turn maiden turf routes last out.

The Jessamine goes as the eighth of nine races on an excellent Thursday card that also includes three allowances (races 3, 5, 7).

Keeneland opened the 17-day fall meet last weekend with nine graded stakes over three days. Eight of those stakes were Win and You're In events.