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Seattle Smooth's Fifth straight win brings a Grade 1

ELMONT, N.Y. – Mercedes Stable’s Seattle Smooth sat in a perfect spot Saturday afternoon, then powered by Seventh Street for a one-length victory in the 41st running of the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth.

It was the fifth straight victory for the Quiet American filly and her first Grade 1 score. She will likely try for another in Saratoga Race Course’s Grade 1, $300,000 Go for Wand at nine furlongs on Sunday, August 2.

“We’re so overwhelmed, so humbled and proud of her,” said trainer Anthony Dutrow, as Seattle Smooth returned $6.20. “I hope everyone in racing gets to experience what we just experienced. These types of races are so elusive.”

Seattle Smooth had trained in California with Julio Canani, but after running third in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico last year, and a failed try on grass, she was sent to Dutrow with the idea that she was more suited to dirt.

Seattle Smooth proceeded to win four in a row, starting in Delaware Park’s Go for Wand, Philadelphia Park’s Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes – where she beat Proud Spell -- and this year, Grade 2 wins in Aqueduct’s Bed o’Roses and Belmont Park’s Shuvee.

With all of her traveling, however, she didn’t have a better trip than she had on Saturday.

Jockey Ramon Dominguez opted to take back, as Seventh Street, part of a three-horse entry for Godolphin Stable and Darley Stable, took to the lead for first quarter mile of

23.46. After a half-mile in 46.36, My Dinah came up the rail to take the lead, and as they rounded the turn, Seventh Street’s entrymates, Music Note and Sea Chanter, made a synchronized move from the outside.

That left four across as they turned for home – with Seattle Smooth tucked right in behind.

Music Note, who as a three-year-old won the Mother Goose, Coaching Club American Oaks and Gazelle – all Grade 1s – here last year, was the main reason the three entrymates went to post at 1-9 However, she tired in the lane, opening up a hole on the outside that Dominguez greedily accepted.

With plenty of punch left, Seattle Smooth drove my Seventh Street for the victory in 1:42.13.

“The race unfolded very well for us,” Dutrow said. “Immediately, we were in a great situation. Our situation brightened at the quarter pole when they all went, and the last sixteenth of a mile, Seattle Smooth finished up. It set up very well for her. Seventh Street was a very game second, but the race went very well for Seattle Smooth – she was sitting beautifully and I was happy to see it.

“I do think Seattle Smooth is a very good two-turn filly. She was good today – she had to be – but I like her at two turns. I know she loves Saratoga. We’ve had her there, trained her there, so I have to be looking forward to the two-turn Saratoga deal.”

Sea Chanter was third, followed by My Dinah, Music Note, Color Me Up and Nicksappealinglady.

 

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