01/17/2010 12:00AM

Tidal Dance clearly best in Affectionately

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Tidal Dance looked best on paper and proved to be just that on the track, romping to an easy 2 1/2-length victory under Ramon Dominguez in Sunday's over a muddy Aqueduct inner track.

Pumpkin Shell, with Chuck Lopez up, rallied from well off the pace to finish second by 8 1/2 lengths over the pacesetting Yes She's a Lady. Saxet Heights, All Night Labor, and Yet Again, the defending Affectionately winner, completed the order of finish. By the Light scratched.

Tidal Dance, who began her career in south Florida before relocating to Southern California, captured her first stakes victory in her fourth start since coming to the New York barn of trainer Mike Hushion. Tidal Dance, a 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap, was coming off a second-place finish in the Snit Stakes over the inner track, a race in which she was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Life at Ten while finishing nearly four lengths clear of the field.

Sunday, Tidal Dance raced in third position behind Yes She's a Lady, who ran opening-quarter mile in 23.84 seconds and a half-mile in 48.18 while being chased by All Night Labor. Entering the far turn, Dominguez guided Tidal Dance into second place and Tidal Dance bolted past Yes She's a Lady outside the quarter pole. Tidal Dance opened a 3 1/2-length margin by the eighth pole and was taken in hand by Dominguez for the last sixteenth of a mile. Tidal Dance, owned by Marc Ferrell, covered the 1 1/16-miles in 1:46.64 in the mud and returned $4.70 as the favorite.

"I was happy with where we were early in the race," Dominguez said. "It actually set up exactly the way I thought it would. She took the lead a little earlier than I wanted to, but she was doing it easily. I saw [Pumpkin Shell] making a run at me on the [television] screen, but I knew we were home safe so I didn t really get after her the last bit of the race."

Hushion said he would talk to Ferrell about whether to keep Tidal Dance in New York for the $65,000 Rare Treat here on Feb. 20 or head out of town for richer and more prestigious stakes.

* When French Transition ($39.80) won Sunday's nightcap it ensured a pick-six carryover of $25,918 into Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday card. Those who selected 5 of 6 were rewarded with a payout of $2,159.

* The Aqueduct jockey colony announced Sunday that it will donate money to the American Red Cross toward the Haitian Relief effort.

Riders will have the option to donate losing mount fees and/or a percentage of their earnings from races run Jan. 15-22.