Hills Farm’s 5-year-old mare Casablanca Smile returned from an 11-month layoff
to win the $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (G3) at Calder Casino & Race
Course on the closing day of the 2011 Tropical Meet on Friday.
Interestingly, Casablanca Smile’s last race before this afternoon was the La
Prevoyante Handicap (G3) at Calder during the final days of the 2010/11
Tropical Meet, in which she finished second behind Changing Skies.
out by trainer Shug McGaughey, Casablanca Smile dominated all the pace in the 1
½ miles La Prevoyante, covering the distance in 2:31.51 over firm turf with
jockey Javier Castellano in the irons. Castellano won the co-feature
earlier on the card, the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (G3), aboard Silver
Smile defeated Cheetah, who tracked the winner’s pace the entire race, by 1 ½
lengths. It was another 2 ¾ lengths back to Tesoro de Amor in third
place. The winner paid $7.60, $3.80, and $3.20.
McGaughey (by phone from Kentucky) – “She’s a
very, very classy filly. Naturally, you’d be concerned going this distance off
that kind of layoff (since Jan. 2), but I liked that three-quarters in 1:18.
That certainly helped. I had her entered in a race in New York before we came
down here, but she came up with a little foot problem and I had to scratch her.
She got over that real quick. I thought she’d run good today, and if she got
beat, it would simply be the layoff. I think her best distance is between a
mile-and-a-quarter and a mile-and-a-half. I’ll talk to the owner about her
future in the next week and we’ll map out a plan for her future.”
Castellano – “I wasn’t concerned at all about
the layoff. The trainer did a great job bringing her back. I rode
her with a lot of confidence. She gave me more than 100%. She just
galloped beautifully…she put herself on the lead. Turning for home, I
knew I had a lot of horse. She has a powerful turn of foot and it was
like she had just started the race.”