TORONTO, June 29 – Multiple graded stakes winner Suffused returns to Woodbine on Sunday in the Grade 2 $150,000 Dance Smartly Stakes.
Suffused suffered a very tough beat here in last year’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, dropping a nose decision to Al’s Gal. That race is run over 1 ¼ miles of turf and, with Sunday’s Dance Smartly being run at that distance after being held at 1 1/8 miles, the Bill Mott-trained Suffused looms the mare to beat.
The Dance Smartly, for fillies and mares, lured a field of eight which also lured last year’s Grade 2 Canadian Stakes winner Rainha da Bataria.
“She ran well on the course, at the same distance,” said Mott who conditions the homebred Suffused for Juddmonte Farms Ltd. “She was stuck in late, and she came running.”
Suffused was freshened following the E.P. Taylor and the turf specialist returned with a vengeance at Gulfstream this winter, winning the Grade 3 La Prevoyante at 1 ½-miles and the Grade 3 The Very One at 1 3/16 miles.
Since shipping back up to New York, the English-bred 5-year-old has turned in a second-place finish over 1 3/8 miles of yielding going in the Grade 3 Sheepshead Bay and was a close fifth at a firm 1 ¼ miles-in the Grade 2 New York.
"You might not want to hold them against her, I suppose,” said Mott. “She maybe had a little troubled trip the time before.”
Jose Ortiz, who has piloted Suffused to her four North American stakes wins, returns in the irons.
Rainha da Bateria had come close to nailing down her first Grade 1 last summer score in Saratoga’s Diana, finishing third in a blanket finish, before coming north to take the Canadian by a nose over her more fancied stablemate Dacita.
The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred was back here for the E.P. Taylor and came up just short, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, when fifth behind the winner. Seeming to have a penchant for being involved in nail-biting finishes, Rainha Da Bateria came out on the short end of a four-horse photo when fifth in her 2017 bow.
That start, her first in seven months, came in the Grade 3 Beaugay over 1 1/16 miles of yielding going at Belmont on May 13. Since then, Brown has been pointing her for the Dance Smartly.
“She’s been training well and went very well over Woodbine’s turf last year, so we’re hoping for more of the same from her,” said Brown, who believes the 1 /4-mile distance is within his mare’s scope."
Javier Castellano, who has teamed up with Brown for numerous stakes victories, has the call on Rainha da Bateria. She will be the 122-pound topweight, giving two pounds to second-highweights Suffused and Gamble’s Ghost.
Also shipping in for the Dance Smartly will be Giovanna Blues, who is trained by Michael Dickinson for owners Dogwood Plantation, Dora Alcorn and Larry Marcus.
Based with Dickinson at his Maryland farm, Giovanna Blues was a last-out allowance winner over 1 1/16 miles of turf at Laurel after closing off his 2016 wins on the Tapeta surface here.
Patrick Husbands, who rode Giovanna Blues for the first time in her Nov. 26 finale, again gets the call.
Among the locals looking to repel the invaders will be Starship Jubilee, who was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Nassau in her local bow for trainer Kevin Attard, who also owns the 4-year-old in partnership with Soli Mehta.
Starship Jubilee was claimed for $16,000 by Kevin’s father, Tino Attard, this winter and was recording her fifth straight win when making her stakes debut in the Nassau over one mile of yielding turf.
“She stumbled leaving the gate badly,” said Attard. “I was concerned; no doubt about it.
“But, she’s a filly who loves to win.”
Starship Jubilee has yet to travel farther than one mile.
“Obviously, the mile and a quarter is a question mark,” said Attard. “But, her pedigree suggests she’ll get the trip.”
Eurico Rosa da Silva, who rode Starship Jubilee for the first time in the Nassau, again will do the honors.
Rounding out the field will be Involuntary and Gamble’s Ghost, both trained by Josie Carroll, and the Mark Casse-conditioned tandem of Uchenna and Belle de Nuit.
Involuntary was sent away at 37-1 when second in the Nassau which represented her first local appearance.
Gamble’s Ghost, who was on the Woodbine Oaks/Queen’s Plate trail last year, was away for nine months prior to returning at Keeneland this spring and got back on target in her local seasonal bow on Tapeta under returning rider Luis Contreras.
Uchenna does her best running late and will be looking to rally under rider Rafael Hernandez while Belle de Nuit, who favors a front-running style, will be making her seasonal bow with Julien Leparoux in the irons.