ARCADIA, Calif.—Well beaten 12 days ago, the Richard Baltas-trained Smuggler’s Run showed a new dimension on Friday at Santa Anita, as he relaxed well early and rallied impressively late to take the day’s $69,000 California-bred allowance feature by three quarters of a length. Ridden by Flavien Prat, the 3-year-old gelding by hot sire Straight Fire got six furlongs on turf at 1:09.01.
A troubled sixth in the ungraded Baffle Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs out of Santa Anita’s turf chute Jan. 30, Smuggler’s Run had two horses beat in a field of eight sophomores going into the far turn. Responding to Prat’s cue, Smuggler’s Run made an eye-catching move three deep around the turn and was hand-ridden through the lane in a big effort.
“These Straight Fire’s can really run,” said Baltas. “My exercise rider has been taking his time with this horse and he relaxed really well today with Flavien. This horse shows you a lotta talent in the mornings, but he doesn’t have to work fast.
“I know he was coming back quick off of his last race, but he was boxed in the last race. He was doing so good going into that one and it was just very unfortunate that he got in behind a bunch of speed that backed up into face and he couldn’t get out…Usually I don’t run a horse back this quick, but the way he came out of it, he was just like jumping out of his skin the next day…You don’t get these type of Cal-bred allowance races that often, especially for three-year-olds, so we thought it was the right thing to do.”
In his second start for Baltas, Smuggler’s Run was off as the second choice at 8-5 and paid $5.20, $3.40 and $3.00.
A first-out Cal-bred maiden special weight winner going six furlongs on dirt when trained by Ruben Alvarado on Jan. 1, Smuggler’s Run now has two wins from three starts. Owned and bred in California by KMN Racing, LLC, Smuggler’s Run, who is out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Maddie’s Odyssey, picked up $41,400 for the win, increasing his earnings to $82,100.
Moose Mitchell, who laid close and wrested the lead from Who’s Candy in deep stretch, was off at 13-1 with apprentice Diego Herrera and paid $8.00 and $4.80 while finishing 2 ¾ lengths in front of a late closing Franklin One Star.
Off at 8-1 with Kyle Frey, Franklin One Star paid $4.00 to show and nipped Who’s Candy by a half length.
Fractions on the race were 22.47, 44.86 and 56.61.
Racing resumes with first post time for a nine-race card on Saturday at 12:30 pm Admission gates open at 10:30 am
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo of Smuggler’s Run by Benoit Photo