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Tidal Dance One to Beat in Ladies

A field of five will line up Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack for the 139th running of the $100,000 Ladies, the oldest stakes race in the country for older fillies and mares.


Looking to replicate her easy victory in January’s Affectionately is Marc Ferrell’s Tidal Dance, a 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap, who also picked up a second-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Snit Stakes over the inner track on December 12.


The Ladies, which will be run as the 4th race at approximately 2:25 p.m. EDT, will be the first start at 1 1/8-miles for Tidal Dance, but the added distance is of little concern to trainer Mike Hushion.


“A mile and a quarter would be fine,” Hushion said.  “Inner track, main track, Belmont, she’s doing so well right now I don’t think it would matter.”


Tidal Dance is 2-2-0 from four starts since being transferred to Hushion’s care this fall and while the trainer had pondered sending her to Florida after the Affectionately, he ultimately decided to keep her in training at Belmont to point for this race. 


Breaking from Post 4 as the 8-5 morning line favorite, Tidal Dance gets the services of Channing Hill.


Making her first stakes appearance in the Ladies is Phipps Stable’s Distinctively, a lightly-raced 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again who exits a second-place finish in allowance company going a mile at Gulfstream Park.


Unraced at two, Distinctively broke her maiden over the main track at Aqueduct on November 20, drawing away to win by 3¼ lengths.  She has hit the board in all five of her career starts and her Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey believes she craves more distance. 


“I could have run her back down here at a mile, but she’s begging to go around two turns,” McGaughey said.  “I never did get to do that last year and it’s one of the reasons we’re up there.  She’s done well here this winter and I think it’s really helped her.  This is a big jump up, but I think it’s a good spot for her.”


Distinctively will break from Post 3 carrying 117 lbs. including jockey Fernando Jara.


Chevalier Stable’s Weathered will return on short rest following a fourth-place finish in an overnight stakes at Aqueduct on March 18.  She was sixth in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park two starts back after missing by a neck in the Nellie Morse over the Maryland oval on January 23.  Weathered is 2-for-2 over the inner track at the Ladies distance, winning a pair of stakes, including the Grade 3 Next Move at Aqueduct last winter.


Anna Rose Napravnik will ride from Post 2.

Completing the field are Richard Golden’s Love’s Blush and Maltese Cross Stables’ Quiet Mover.  Love’s Blush exits a second-place effort in the Maryland Racing Media Stakes at Laurel Park, while Quiet Mover edged away to win an inner track allowance contest on February 14. 


The field for the $100,000 Ladies:









Quiet Mover (KY)

G Saez


E R Barker



Weathered (NY)

A R Napravnik


K M Grusmark



Distinctively (KY)

F Jara


C R McGaughey III



Tidal Dance (FL)

C Hill


M E Hushion



Love's Blush (MD)

T L Dunkelberger


R Jenkins





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