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Smooth Like Strait Tops Shoemaker Mile Entries in Season’s First Breeders’ Cup Prep
Smooth Like Strait winning the Mathis Brothers Mile (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Smooth Like Strait Tops Shoemaker Mile Entries in Season’s First Breeders’ Cup Prep

ARCADIA, CA – Cannon Thoroughbreds’ consistent homebred Smooth Like Strait heads a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in Monday’s $300,000 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1) on a nine-race Memorial Day program at Santa Anita.

The Shoemaker is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, with the winner of the Shoemaker Mile entitled to an automatic entry to the 2021 FanDuel Mile to be run at Del Mar on November 6.

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A 4-year-old colt by Midnight Lute, Smooth Like Strait comes off a pair of neck defeats – a third-place finish in the Turf Classic (G1) at a mile and 1/8 on May 1 at Churchill Downs and in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) here on March 6.

A 3/4-length winner of the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) 3 starts back on December 26, Smooth Like Strait, dating back to his 2 1/2-length win in the La Jolla Stakes (G2) at Del Mar on August 9, has been favored in 6 out of his last 7 starts, all graded stakes, and he’s won 3 of them.

With regular rider Umberto Rispoli back aboard, Smooth Like Strait, who earned a best last-out Beyer Speed Figure of 100 in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, is 14-6-3-2 overall with earnings of $753,823.

Trained by Michael McCarthy, Smooth Like Strait, a 4-time graded stakes winner on turf, will face stiff competition, headed perhaps by Phil D’Amato’s Say the Word, who was supplemented at a cost of $6,000.

An impressive 1 1/2-length winner of the Elkhorn Stakes (G2) going a mile and 1/2 over a soft turf at Keeneland April 17, Say the Word was second, beaten 3/4 of a length 2 starts back going the same distance here in the San Luis Rey Stakes (G3) on March 20.

A 6-year-old Ontario/Canadian-bred gelding by More Than Ready, Say the Word, who will be cutting back to a flat mile for the first time since September 1, 2019, will be making his fifth start for D’Amato on Monday. With Flavien Prat engaged, he’s well-spotted for owners Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm.

A Grade 1 winner in his final start at Woodbine Race Course on October 18, Say the Word brings an overall mark of 29-6-3-5 and earnings of $609,292.

Next Shares, Crossfirehurricane, Restrainedvengence, Raymundos Secret, and Whisper Not complete the field.

Joining the Gamely on the card is the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) and the Gamely Stakes (G1).

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