05/27/2009 11:00PM

Zee Zee back to dirt in bid to end skid


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though she hasn't won in more than a year and has not won on dirt, Zayat Stables's Zee Zee is the one to catch and beat in Friday's third race, a $50,000 third-level allowance at one mile.

Zee Zee, a stakes winner on turf at 2 and 3 when trained by Bill Mott, breaks from the inside post in her fourth start for Rick Dutrow and will try to lead Star Dixie, One Step Ahead, My Dinah, and Borrowing Base on a merry chase under Ramon Dominguez.

Back in early March, Dutrow wheeled Zee Zee back on three days' rest at Gulfstream Park, and she responded by running second against Florida-breds in the Ocala Stakes.

Returned from a freshening on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs, Zee Zee raced wide behind a slow pace in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile and checked in seventh to Tizaqueena, who has won 5 of her 6 starts.

Since then, the gray filly has turned in a pair of five-furlong workouts.

"The rail has been absolutely killing our stable," Dutrow said, referencing Big Brown's debacle from that post in last year's Belmont Stakes. "But she's training like she's supposed to run big."

Prior to two closely spaced races in March, Zee Zee's only dirt race was a distant eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in the slop at Monmouth Park. There are showers in the forecast.

"I didn't have her back then, but I've always loved to run gray horses on an off track," Dutrow said.

One Step Ahead, who has finished no worse than second from five starts this year, was claimed out of a runner-up finish nine days ago "because of how consistent she is," her new trainer, David Jacobson, explained.

Jacobson also sends out stretch-running mare Sneaky Girl in race 8, a $47,000 optional claimer at seven furlongs.

Sneaky Girl, who has won twice previously in turf-to-dirt situations, breaks from the outside against Manitoba Miss, Turn Away, Whirling Agatha, Nijinsky Bullet, and Red Hot Jazz.

"I wish it was three-quarters," said Jacobson, who was unperturbed by the prospect of wet weather.

"I'm not worried about that, both of them should handle it with no problem - unless it's really sloppy, and then you just throw the cards up in the air and see where they fall."