02/22/2002 12:00AM

Smok'n Frolic on launch pad


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For Smok'n Frolic, Sunday's $100,000 Davona Dale Stakes is simply a beginning - the start of what trainer Todd Pletcher hopes will be a long and successful season, as well as a prep for Smok'n Frolic's main goal at the meet, the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes.

But for several of the other 3-year-old fillies in the lineup, the 1 1/16-mile Davona Dale is an opportunity to show that they belong at this level, as well as an opportunity to earn starting berths in richer and more prestigious races, beginning with the Bonnie Miss on March 15.

Smok'n Frolic is already a proven commodity, having won three stakes at 2, including the Grade 3 Tempted and Grade 2 Demoiselle to close out her successful juvenile campaign.

"In a perfect world I would have preferred to start her back at seven furlongs," said Pletcher, who trains Smok'n Frolic for the Dogwood Stable. "But I need to get her a prep for the Bonnie Miss and this race fit best in the schedule."

Pletcher said some bad racing luck and a displaced palate were the reasons for Smok'n Frolic's only two poor starts last season.

"We made some equipment changes after she displaced her palate and she really responded well," said Pletcher. "The fact she's by Smoke Glacken raised some questions about whether she would stretch out around two turns but she did what we thought she would do by winning her last starts."

Take the Cake, Aly Quatorze, and Miu Miu are among those with questions to answer in the Davona Dale.

Take the Cake is already a graded stakes winner, having captured the Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes at seven furlongs on Jan. 27. The Davona Dale, however, will be the first time she has gone beyond that distance or around two turns.

Aly Quatorze and Miu Miu have proven they can handle two turns. Now they must show they can do so against stakes-caliber competition.

Aly Quatorze is perfect in her two starts here this meet and steps up off a hard-fought preliminary allowance victory. Miu Miu is undefeated in two races, and, like Aly Quatorze, won an entry-level allowance race in her most recent appearance.

Stakes-tested Calder invaders Ms Brookski, Stormy Frolic, and Blissful Kiss also figure prominently in the Davona Dale.

Ms Brookski was a two-time stakes winner at 2 and returns to the dirt off a disappointing showing in the Herecomesthebridestakes on the turf.

Stormy Frolic has won three of his last four starts, including the Tropical Park Oaks by nearly seven lengths on New Year's Day.

Blissful Kiss finished fourth, beaten nine lengths by Smok'n Frolic in the Demoiselle, and tries to rebound from a poor showing in the Forward Gal.

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