Augustin Stables’ Smart Bid
earned his first win since last March’s Grade II Mervin H. Muniz
Memorial Handicap here at Fair Grounds, getting up in the final stride
to defeat Andrews T & S Racing’s stubborn
Mr. Vegas by a head in Saturday’s Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap.
With regular rider Edgar Prado
aboard and carrying high weight of 121 pounds, the South
Florida invader bided his time early in the 1 1/8-mile turf event as
pacesetter Mr. Vegas was pressed through an opening quarter-mile in
24.40 and continued on the lead through fractions of
49.60 and 1:14.41. Jockey Miguel Mena kept Mr. Vegas going through the stretch but Smart Bid closed determinedly, getting up just before the wire in 1:51.91.
I got close (to Mr. Vegas) I thought we were just going to blow by but
that horse kept on fighting,” said Prado. “I’m glad that I got
Bid paid $5.80, $3.40 and $2.60 as the favorite in a field of 7 older
horses. Mr. Vegas returned $3.60 and $2.60, while David P. Holloway
Racing’s Dubious Miss closed for third and paid $2.80.
Bid, now two-for-two at Fair Grounds, bettered his overall record to
20-5-7-4 while the $75,000 winner’s share of the $125,000 purse upped
his career earnings to $891,813.
“He really does love Fair Grounds and he is just such a game horse,” winning trainer
Graham Motion said by phone
after the race. “I was a little concerned because I thought (Edgar)
waited a little bit longer than he normally does to ask him to run;
normally he asks him quite early. But he obviously
knew what he was doing and it just worked out great. Maybe we’ll have
to come back for the next one (the Muniz on April 1).”