After coming from off the pace to win
graded stakes races the first two times Joel Rosario was aboard, Smiling Tiger
reverted to the front-running tactics he employed prior to Rosario taking over,
blowing away a solid field of sprinters by over three lengths as the 8-to-5
second choice in the seven furlong $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap (Grade I) at
“The first time I rode him he stumbled a
little bit and the second time he didn’t break that good,” said Rosario of
Smiling Tiger’s wins in the San Carlos (Grade II)
at Santa Anita and Count Fleet (Grade III) at Oaklawn Park.
“He can go close to the pace. He can go to the lead. He can come from behind. He
showed me he’s a really good horse.”
By winning his eighth race from 16 career
starts while capturing his third Grade I victory, the four-year-old son of Hold
That Tiger pushed his career earnings over $1 million.
After making his last six starts on dirt, including a troubled trip in the Churchill Downs (Grade II) in his last when he broke on top with Rosario and was wrangeld off the lead before finishing sixth, Smiling Tiger returned to a synthetic surface and made it a perfect 3-for-3 over Hollywood's Cushion track.
Trainer Jeff Bonde and company indicated
after the race that his campaign for champion sprinter of 2011 is likely to
make its next stop at Del
Mar on July 31 for the Bing Crosby Stakes (Grade I).
Continuing his remarkable run since being
claimed for $40,000 by Mike Mitchell four starts back, Camp Victory
battled to earn the place at 9-to-1 over 3-to-2 favorite Amazombie.
Despite both favorites being in the mix,
the $1 superfecta returned over $592 because 45-to-1 shot Uh Oh Bango ran on
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