The Beast May Be Smokin at DMR

Im Smokin Stakes- $150.000 Purse
DMR- Two Years Old Foaled in CA
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
September 4, 2015

A field of five will contest the 12th running of the Im Smokin Stakes as the DMR meet starts to wind down this fall.  Despite its good purse for CA-breds, the race does not historically draw large fields, with the average amount of runners tending to be between five and seven.  There was almost a sixth horse in the field, though his owner, who may or may not be writing this article, decided at the last minute that it might be a bad idea.   As anticipated, we have ended up with a strong field of runners that figure to have strong careers that will go one well beyond this race.  Most of the past winners have gone to have highly successful careers, though none may be better then last year’s winner, Much Notoriety, a current winner of $657.000 and likely more to come.   The second place runner, Oversell It, is a winner of $300.000 and counting.  Both are owned by Mb Stables, who will saddle another strong contender as he looks to become the first two-time winner of the stake.  Let’s look at his entry as well as the four others now in the run through field.

#1- Ghost Star (Lemax Farms, ridden by J Talamo)- On the rail, this colt is part of the Die Laffin line, the most underrated bloodline in our game; as well has having some Ghost Walker in him.  On the dam side, Ghost Star has excellent autogen bloodlines, so naturally when you have a horse on the verge of doing great things, you have to see how he stacks up against the best.   He has won two of four career races thus far, but has never run against the level of opponents that he will face here.  His work times suggest that he has as good of a chance as anyone else.  Now, J Talamo will need to deliver for one of the smaller trainers against the big boys.

#2- Hard Slider (Barcelona Farms, ridden by J Graham)- Caught my attention in the Colin Stakes about six weeks ago, and felt that he was one of the top threats to win that race.   He never ended up being a factor in that race, placing 5th, and I recall being underwhelmed by his stretch performance that day.   In that time, Barcelona Farms has looked to make his talented Yard House foal to be the best he can be, and I have noticed that there will be some add changes for this race, at least as of press time.   If that can make him right, he may be primed to redeem himself here.  It’s also possible he just didn’t like the mud, which is something you don’t need to worry about at DMR.

#3- Cool Operator (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- Mb Stables will have a great chance to win the Im Smokin for the second year in a row with this General Motors foal.  Certainly the trainer hopes for a career that is worthy of the power of the automaker, and not a career that defines his dams name, of Future Is Bleak.   So far he has been off a turbocharged start, being the only one in this field to run in a graded event.   Early in August, he was fifth in the Grade 2 Best Pal but only a length from victory.  He still has only won one race, so let’s not get too carried away with singing his praises already.  I think this race is a great spot for him.

#4- Copper Beast (Australia Wide, ridden by T C Baze)- Thankfully, a bit of horse selling park is over with for his highly talented colt, and he has found an owner with the desire to race him.  Copper Beast debuted at RUI in late July, and won the event, earning an 88 SRF in the process.  That can be a high figure for two year olds at that race track.   Anyone who was at PRX on the morning of August 11th, however, likely left with their jaws dropped as Copper Beast put together an amazing bullet work.   Not only was a bullet, but it’s the 5th quickest work recorded by a two-year old this year at 6F.  Anywhere.  Not to mention, he is also part of that aforementioned underrated Die Laffin line.   He is my top pick.

#5- Mr Buffalo (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by M Smith)- On paper, he seems like might be a length or two behind in this field, but D J C Racing Stables certainly believes highly in this colt by the late Mr New Jersey.   In April and after the horse made his first start, Mr Buffalo was purchased for $75.000 from LionKing Stables.  So far, the trainer got a nice win at CD, but other then that, he’s still looking for more.  There’s nothing wrong with his works, but I’m not confident that he can top a couple others in here.  If he’s improved a little bit since his last race (which you can’t get a read on publicly based on works), then that will be all it takes, however.

Prediction: 4-3-2-1


— NS

Categories: NG Stakes

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