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DEL MAR, CA – Trainer Richard Baltas’ Vertical Threat cleared away impressively in the stretch to win Saturday’s $65,000 Smiling Tiger Stakes at Del Mar.
Vertical Threat was the 6/5 second choice as he broke from post 4 under Heriberto Figueroa. He closely tracked the 3/5 favorite Ragtime Blues through an opening 1/4-mile in :22.18 but moved up under his own power to run two-wide into the far turn.
Taking command midway through, Vertical Threat kicked clear at the top of the stretch and crossed 5 1/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:10.47 for the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint.
Ragtime Blues was no match for the winner, finishing second by 1 1/2 lengths over Thanks Mr. Eidson, who had trip trouble midway through the far turn when he tried running through a gap along the rail. Howbeit was never a factor before completing the order of finish.
Vertical Threat’s win was his second straight, having broken his maiden on June 27 while making her dirt debut. The 3-year-old Tapiture colt now carries a record of 3-2-0-0 with $65,150 earned for co-owners MyRacehorse.com and Slam Dunk Racing.
Vertical Threat returned $4.40 to win and $2.20 to place, while Ragtime Blues paid $2.10 to place. There was no show betting.
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