The Smith Handicap (Grade 3)- $250.000 Purse
AQU- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and Three Eighths on the Turf
November 11, 2017
The field for the Smith Handicap initially consisted of twelve entries. After a couple of early scratches, the field was down to ten. However, on race day, it may have seemed as though only four horses showed up to race. At the start, four of them broke away from the field, and were left with three to duke it out as one of the leaders packed it in as the rest of the pack hung out in the back. Other then two late movers that got closer to the front in the late moments to push for the fourth place monies, this race may have lacked in excitement. That’s not a problem for Rio Cibuco, who came into the race having won three straight, though two were not against strong competition. Safe to say he’s becoming a late bloomer. The winning trainer is La Canada Racehorses, picking up his first graded win of 2017, and first since 2015, when the stable was more active. E Maldonado was aboard the winner as both win the race for the first time Congratulations to them! The time of the victory was 2:11.44, the second quickest time in the stake’s history. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :47.95)- Speedy Conciliatory, from Cherrytree Hill Farm, lives up to his name and breaks sharply out of the gate, and the outermost starting spot. Also breaking well would be Mean Street (Nakamura Stables), and because he was also an outside starter Speedy Conciliatory could not get to the inside as quickly as he would have liked. Moms Guy (Hawaiian Shirt Guy) also breaking alertly kept them both from going to the rail initially, but eventually, they would be single file coming down the frontstretch. The eventual winner, Rio Cibuco, from La Canada Racehorses was also part of this lead group, running fourth and about two and a half lengths from the leaders. They are the quick starters. Thats The Truth initially hung with them for TwinTowersRacing, but began to back off. Same story for Romantic Pirate (Drabfantasy) who may have been restrained somewhat. Red Lorry (Diablo Diablo) was seventh on the rail, with the trailers being Hotwheel (Team 7 Illusions), Stormy Collapse (Ekli Stable), and Pump Action Shotgun (Maxmillion Farm). Pump Action Shotgun seemed to be the only one of the trailers specifically underneath a closing strategy early.
(3/4 Mile- 1:11.73)- Rounding the clubhouse turn, there was not much shuffling of the running order, but this is where we see the clear separation of the front four from the rest of the field. Speedy Conciliatory, Mean Street, Moms Guy, and Rio Cibuco have the left their rivals behind and run within two lengths of one another. The gap is three to everyone else, with Romantic Pirate, Thats The Truth, and Speedy Pirate running three wide, and Hotwheel beginning to join them to make it four wide. The front four would extend their lead more over the backstretch, and as they got near the turn, we began to see Rio Cibuco positioning himself for the winning move.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- Within the turn, it was beginning to look like the front four got away from everyone else and it would take a special effort from one of them in the trailing pack to win this race. Rio Cibuco methodically takes the fourth lane around the turn to reel in and eventually take the lead, getting by Mean Street, who had moved into second. Mean Street had also run a clean race to this point and seemed up for the challenge of battling Rio Cibuco in the stretch. Moms Guy was a length off of them, perhaps not looking like a winner, but not looking like he’d be in jeopardy to fall out of check earning spot unless he completely packed in like Speedy Conciliatory began to. In the back, Hotwheel seemed to be running well, but his four wide lane did not do him any favors while rounding the turn, especially considering the gap he had to make up. Pump Action Shotgun, began to make his move as well, and had no problem getting by the likes of Thats The Truth, Red Lorry, and Stormy Collapse.
(Finish- 2:11.44)- Rio Cibuco gracefully takes over the race in the stretch, and puts away a moderate fight from Mean Street to pick up the victory. In the latter moments of the race, he pulled away a little more from Mean Street, and wins by about a length and a half. Mean Street was never in jeopardy of falling out of the exacta, and ran well enough to the wire to hold the position. Moms Guy was starting to cling to his third position late, but the early gap he had on the rest of the field was beneficial for him to complete the trifecta. Hotwheel and Pump Action Shotgun ran well in the stretch, but conceded too much ground early. Rounding out the finishing order, its Romantic Pirate, Stormy Collapse, Speedy Conciliatory, Thats The Truth, and Red Lorry.
About The Winner- Rio Cibuco, trained by La Canada Racehorses, and ridden by E Maldonado, is a three year old gelding by Chuck Farley, and out of the autogen, The Woman. He was bred in Kentucky as a third quarter two year old by Our Athletes and acquired by La Canada Racehorses via Alegria in the June 2017 auction for just $2.510. That’s a good investment, congratulations to the connections! Rio Cibuco has now won four of 11 races, with those four wins being currently consecutive. It is his first stake win, and his career earnings are now $202.380.
Time: :474 1:113 1:351 2:112
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 9 – 10 Paid 62.00
$1 Trifecta: 9 – 10 – 4 Paid 1,479.80
Scratched: General White, Hold The Fort
Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES