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ARCADIA, CA – Cannon Thoroughbreds homebred Smooth Like Strait put forth a tremendous front-running effort that won Monday’s $300,000 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
The Shoemaker is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Smooth Like Strait receiving an automatic berth in the FanDuel Mile at Del Mar this November.
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Smooth Like Strait broke from post 2 under Umberto Rispoli as the 3/5 favorite and went to the lead under his own power, but Restrainedvengence and Whisper Not kept close company two- and three-wide heading into the clubhouse turn.
Despite posting quick opening fractions of :23.46, :46.43, and 1:10.09 for the opening 6 furlongs, Smooth Like Strait had enough left to kick clear of his company near the 5/16 pole.
With daylight between him and his rivals at the top of the stretch, the Michael McCarthy-trained Smooth Like Strait cruised home to a 1 1/2-length victory, stopping the clock for the firm turf mile in 1:34.19.
“Today feels very gratifying because the horse shows up and runs hard every time,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think he was getting the respect he deserved earlier in the year, but he showed up and put together a nice campaign. He was so relaxed for Umberto out there today.”
Say the Word closed late to take second by 1 3/4 lengths over Restrainedvengence, who necked out Next Shares for third.
Whisper Not and Crossfirehurricane completed the order of finish. Raymundos Secret scratched.
Smooth Like Strait’s win was his fifth at the graded stakes level and improved his overall record to 14-6-3-2. The 4-year-old Midnight Lute colt’s earnings increased to $753,823.
“I was just waiting for a Grade 1 for this horse, he deserves it so much,” Rispoli said. “So does the owner, Michael Cannon. He deserves it … he’s always positive. He always says, ‘Don’t worry, we’re gonna go to the Breeders’ Cup.’ He was positive from the first day.”
Smooth Like Strait returned $3.40 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.20 to show. Say the Word brought back $3.40 to place and $2.80 to show, while Restrainedvengence paid $3.60 to show.
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