The Smith (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
AQU- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and Three Eighths on the Inner Turf
November 20, 2021
This Saturday at the Big A, a field of ten turf horses that like to keep running and running will go to post for the 17th running of The Smith. This is a Grade 2 event that sees its purse restored to the 2019 level, of $200.000, after being cut in half last year. Its classification also returned to Grade 2 status after being a Grade 3 from 2013-2020. Last year, Rampage Stable won the race with Wired Up. That horse ran a 100 SRF in the victory and seemed poised for bigger things after that, but as of now the still active horse has not returned to the winner’s circle. Here’s a look at the field!
#1- Trumbull Valley (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- On the rail, this gelding has won six times in his 20 career starts, including two wins this season. At the end of September, he picked up his biggest win, the Grade 2 Bowling Green at SAR. He was okay in the Sword Dancer after that and nearly pulled off a win in the six furlong Nearctic Stakes in his last start. Now, it’s time to go long again!
#2- Banshee Star (Calia Stable, ridden by J Lezcano)- This will be career start #52 for the seven year old who’s biggest wins are years ago. However, he has still remained consistent, being able to pick up wins albeit not at this level. Was claimed by Calia Stable in July and destroyed an optional claiming field at SAR by eight lengths. His last start saw him run third in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker, so he is still able to run well.
#3- So Lonely (Diablo Diablo, ridden by M Franco)- He’s made twenty less starts than Banshee Star, but this five year old has also still been able to be effective as he gets older. He’s won twice this year, highlighted by the KD Preview Turf Cup. Unfortunately, surrounding that, he shows signs of inconsistency. Therefore, he is hard to throw too much support behind. Ran in the Smith last year, placing eighth.
#4- Magnolia Creek (Rock Creek, ridden by L A Rodriguez)- Making his debut for Rock Creek here, as the trainer picked him up in a $7.500 claimer at BTP last month. It will be his 37th career start and first in a graded stake since 2017. Tremendous vote of confidence that Rock Creek is showing here, perhaps he will like the longer distance. In his younger days, he was good at nine furlongs.
#5- Big Aspirations (Hippyheart, ridden by K Carmouche)- Purchased by the trainer in private sales for $135.250 in January and has ended up making almost double that for Hippyheart. Won his first two starts, including the $110.000 TAM Turf Classic, and has consistently earned a check for the trainer in the graded stakes that have followed, but has not won one of those yet.
#6- Concerto Of Eggs (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by M J Luzzi)- Another horse in the field that has made in excess of 30 career starts, but Concerto Of Eggs has still only managed three wins. Took a real long time to break his maiden before the trainer gave up on MSW’s, to win an optional claimer. Since then, he has seen many Grade 1 starts, and was second in the Manhattan in June. Unfortunately, he has been unable to follow that up with another big run.
#7- L Train (The Sidley Stud, ridden by T McCarthy)- On the same day that Maxmillion Farm sold Big Aspirations to Hippyheart, he would sell L Train to The Sidley Stud. It has also turned out to be a profitable acquisition for The Sidley Stud, with three wins in eight starts, two of them being stakes. The biggest win was the Grade 3 Singspiel in August. Unfortunately, three of his other recent starts have been disappointments. How he starts may be key.
#8- Gabilondo (Fractious, ridden by Be Hernandez)- Despite running in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint last year, Gabilondo began the year running long on the dirt, and that did not go well at all. When he was brought back to the grass, his results began improving again, but he has still not won a stake this year. An allowance at WO is his lone victory of the year. Can be competitive in here, but not one that will be in my picks.
#9- Telladifferentstory (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E Cancel)- The story of this horse was told more last year, as he ran in several KYD preps before running well for the rest of the year. Thus far in 2021, we have mainly seen him in Grade 3’s doing well and hitting the board in most of them. He was moved to the grass for the first time in the year for the $100.000 Oceanport Centennial and won, then followed it up with a second place in an allowance.
#10- Brilliant Kruz (Nakamura Stables, ridden by L Cardenas)- Nakamura picked him up in the June auction for $55.060 following a third place showing in the $100.000 Elusive Quality at BEL. His two starts since then saw him hit the board twice. Up to this point, Brilliant Kruz has not been as reliable to put on top, though, with two wins in fourteen starts despite better overall consistency.
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES