01/19/2010 12:00AM

Sweet and Flawless goes long in prep


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Sweet and Flawless, who toured the country trying to find her niche in 2009, appears to have found a pretty sweet spot to kick off her 2010 campaign in Wednesday's $48,000 first-level allowance feature at Gulfstream Park, scheduled to be run at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.

Sweet and Flawless, who is coupled with stablemate Patti's Regal Song, made 10 starts at nine different racetracks during a 3-year-old campaign that took her from the hills of West Virginia's Mountaineer Park all the way to racing's summit, Saratoga, for the Grade 1 Alabama.

A daughter of Unbridled's Song, Sweet and Flawless became graded stakes placed after finishing a fast-closing second in the Grade 3 Arlington Park Oaks. She was a distant fourth behind Careless Jewel in the Alabama.

"We're planning to use this race as a prep for The Very One at a mile and three-eighths in February for Sweet and Flawless," trainer Eric Reed said. "We've experimented here and there with her and found her best races have been on synthetics and turf. We also know that she needs distance, which is one of the reasons we tried her in the Alabama at the time."

Sweet and Flawless is one of only two members of the lineup, along with Doctor Carina, who have been 1 1/2 miles, a distance she handled well when finishing third, beaten less than a length, in an overnight stakes at Arlington during the fall.

"There isn't a lot of speed in this field, but she did lay second in one of her earlier races and she's not hard to rate, so it might be a blessing because she won't have to negotiate so much traffic," Reed said.

Doctor Carina has sandwiched a pair of victories, including an easy 2 3/4-length triumph against straight $50,000 claimers on opening day, around a fourth-place finish going 1 1/2 miles over yielding turf last fall at Keeneland for trainer Tom Proctor, who is off to a fast start during the current meet.

Just Livin a Dream, who competed in a pair of stakes here a year ago, may prove the one to catch, although the daughter of Trippi remains a question mark trying to stay 12 furlongs.

* Wednesday's card also features the 3-year-old debut of Barbaro's baby brother Lentenor, who figures to be favored in the finale, a maiden special weight event for 3-year-olds carded at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.