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Fair Grounds: Smart Bid Catches Mr. Vegas

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.


“When 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 it.”


Smart 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.


Smart 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).”




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Older Comments about Fair Grounds: Smart Bid Catches Mr. Vegas...

Graham had worked Smart Bid in company with Animal Kingdom a couple of weeks back and it obviously worked well for both

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