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ARCADIA, CA – Cannon Thoroughbreds homebred Smooth Like Strait cruised home victorious in Saturday’s $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
Smooth Like Strait broke well from post 5 as the 4/5 favorite under Umberto Rispoli and settled just off Storm the Court‘s right hip through opening fractions of :23.02 and :46.49.
Ranging up in the far turn, Smooth Like Strait met the pacesetter’s throat latch at the 1/4 pole and moved forward to secure command by the top of the stretch.
Storm the Court refused to wilt along the rail, but he was no match for the ultra-classy Smooth Like Strait.
The Michael McCarthy-trained bettors’ choice strolled home 3/4 of a length clear while completing the firm turf mile in 1:33.51.
“We knew that Storm the Court would be going for the lead, so I just wanted to sit back of him,” Rispoli said. “We got the perfect trip. There were a lot of great horses in this race, so when it came time to ask him in the stretch, he was ready to go. I went out earlier today to examine the turf course because it was our first day of the meet. I looked at all the paths and knew exactly what path to take in the stretch, and that’s the one I took to get home.”
Storm the Court saved second by a 1/2-length over Whisper Not, who bested Field Pass by a head on the wire.
Scarto, Strongconstitution, and Heywoods Beach completed the order of finish in the event restricted to 3-year-olds.
Smooth Like Strait’s win was his fourth at the graded stakes level and improved his overall record to 12-6-2-1. The Midnight Lute colt, most recently second by a head in the 1 1/8-mile Hollywood Derby (G1), has now earned $577,823.
“We have two Grade 1s back-to-back here in the spring, the Kilroe Mile and the Shoemaker,” McCarthy said. “Those would probably be his immediate plans for right now. Who knows, we will see what happens after that. He has earned himself a little bit of a break here and he’s going to enjoy himself for a week or two.”
Smooth Like Strait returned $3.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. Storm the Court brought back $6.40 to place and $4 to show, while Whisper Not paid $2.80 to show.
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