Updated on 09/15/2011 1:22PM

Smok'n Frolic captures Fashion


ELMONT, N.Y. - Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic pulled away in the stretch to notch a 5 3/4-length victory in Thursday's $82,225 Fashion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Smok'n Frolic, overcame a troubled start as she stumbled and was then pinched back between horses. A stalking third turning for home, she launched a strong three-wide move to collar the dueling Ghost Wrestling and My Heart's Deelite in the stretch and take command, even though she failed to change leads.

Ridden by Jerry Bailey, Smok'n Frolic ($7) made her stakes debut in the 88th running of the Fashion and covered the five furlongs in 57.92.

Ghost Wrestling, the even-money favorite, outlasted My Heart's Deelite to finish second by three-quarters of a length. Chain Blue was another 5 3/4 lengths back in fourth.

"It's hard to get a gauge on these kind of races because you are looking at a group of horses, most of whom finished first in their last races and showed speed," Pletcher said. "One thing that encouraged me about this filly was that she galloped out strong in her last race and it looked like she wanted to run on."

Smok'n Frolic, a Florida-bred daughter of Smoke Glacken, was fourth in her career debut at Keeneland. She then romped by four lengths in her last start, a Belmont Park maiden race.

Pletcher said Smok'n Frolic would probably start next in the $100,000 Astoria at Belmont July 1.

All praise the Prince

Odds-on favorite Praise the Prince held off Pelagos in a spirited stretch duel to take the $107,100 Meadow Brook Hurdle Thursday afternoon at Belmont Park.

Owned by Augustin Stable, Praise the Prince ($3.70) surged past Pelagos from the outside in the stretch to take the lead, but then had to withstand a final spurt from the 10-1 shot to hit the wire a head in front.

War Talk was third, another 2 3/4 lengths behind.

Praise the Prince, trained by Sanna Neilson and ridden by Gus Brown, won the Grade 1 Hard Scuffle last month at Churchill Downs but was second in the May 19 Joe Aitcheson at Pimlico. The New Zealand-bred circled the course in 4:49.27 for the 2 1/2 miles.

"He's a lovely horse, but a small horse," Neilson said. "He's got the heart of a horse that is 18 hands (tall)."

The victory was the fifth for Praise the Prince in nine hurdle races.

"He's a great horse. He's two necks and a nose from being undefeated in his last 10 (actually nine) races," Brown said. "He tries harder than any horse I've ever ridden."