The Smith Handicap (Grade 3)- $200.000 Purse
AQU- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and Three Eighths on the Inner Turf
November 23, 2019
The last time that People Doubted had won a race was in Feburary, when he went wire to wire to win the San Marcos. Since then, it has been more of a struggle for him, with some pretty dismal looking races along the way. After being great as a three year old, his form was more sporadic this year, and this led more people to start to doubt him. We did have him as our second choice, but he would have to overcome starting from the outside. With J R Velazquez aboard, People Doubted stepped up and had a strong race, coming from behind to get the win. Now, because of the sporadic nature of his season, we will still need to see how he follow this up, but for now Aml Racing will savor the win, which is his first win in the stake. J R Velazquez has one other win, coming in 2007. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 2:11.59, one of the better times in the race’s history. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :48.11)- The early lead would go to Graceful, out of Nakamura Stables. Heading down the frontstretch for the first time, he would open up an advantage of a length and a half while setting what seemed to be a reasonable pace. They were three wide behind him, with the outside horse here, Maxmillion Farm’s Welcome To My World being a head in front of stablemate Laff All Day, as well as Jam Packed, from Team 7 Illusions. After another length, we had another group of three, with the post time favorite, Controlled Power being slightly in front for Spankys Barn. Roger Rabbit (Rampage Stable) and Sunpunch (John Henry) ran with him. Jamie Mach (RNP Stables) was next on the rail after looking quite indecisive in the early moments of the race. Our eventual winner, People Doubted, ran at the back for Aml Racing, with Bevin (Team 7 Illusions) keeping him company. Just a little more then five lengths separated first from last at this point.
(3/4 Mile- 1:11.89)- Around the clubhouse turn, Graceful still holds the lead by the same length and a half margin. No one from behind was mounting a challenge yet, though at times it looked like Welcome To My World was getting ready to cut into the deficit. He still ran second while running in the third lane, and had his stablemate, Laff All Day to his inside. He could hear the hoofsteps of Controlled Power getting louder right behind him as that one was starting to show more interest. The same could not be said for Jam Packed, who lost some ground during this portion. Jamie Mach made a minor advance on the rail, as both Sunpunch and Roger Rabbit maintained their pace. Meanwhile, People Doubted was setting his sights on a four wide move around those three. That had not come yet, but his intentions were known as remained about five lengths back. Bevin was a half length further back.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- By the time the field reached the end of the backstretch, Graceful was very clearly in trouble. Welcome To My World had been inching closer and closer, and a bigger move was coming from Controlled Power, who was now four wide. As good as that was, even better was People Doubted, who was now in the money lane, and had moved all the way up to fifth that quickly, and was only two lengths from the lead. At the top of the stretch, People Doubted made the pass for Controlled Power after a bit of a battle and was even for the lead with Welcome To My World. That one completed his graceful pass of Graceful, but was going to need more to hold off People Doubted. Graceful was hanging on relatively well up to this point. Laff All Day was a length back, needing a little more response then what he had shown to this point. Sunpunch had advanced well and also looked like he could be a legitimate threat. Jamie Mach had a clear lane on the rail, was within striking range, and will have no excuses. Jam Packed and Bevin were trying to keep up with the pack, though Roger Rabbit was already left behind.
(Finish- 2:11.59)- Once in the stretch, People Doubted rediscovered his old winning form, and ran hard all the way to the wire. This was not easy, because even once he cleared the field, Controlled Power was not giving in and was looking to come back on him. J R Velazquez made sure that People Doubted did not give in until the race was won, and that effort secures the win over the valiant effort from Controlled Power. Hanging on for third would be Welcome To My World, getting that spot over Sunpunch. Jamie Mach, who had been our pick to win ends up not even getting the smallest piece of the purse with a disappointing fifth place run. Laff All Day is sixth, over Graceful, who fell back late. Bevin moved up for 8th, beating stablemate Jam Packed. Then, once all of them finished, we waited another second for Roger Rabbit to finally cross the line.
About The Winner- People Doubted, trained by Aml Racing, and ridden to victory by J R Velazquez, is a four year old colt by People Want To Know, and is out of Highly Doubted. He was bred in California as a first quarter two year old by Mb Stables, and acquired by Aml Racing for $400.000 in an April 2018 private sale. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in 24 starts, and his fourth graded win. His career earnings are now $1,613,350.
Time: :48 1:114 1:352 2:112
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 10 – 6 Paid 39.40
$1 Trifecta: 10 – 6 – 8 Paid 663.80
Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES