Her Smile was purchased by Stronach Stables following her
third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at
Churchill Downs in November, and the 4-year-old filly has been training
like a million dollars for Sunday’s $150,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) at
“She couldn’t be training any better right now,” trainer Chad Brown said. “I’m really excited to see her run.”
Purchased from chef Bobby Flay for $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton
Kentucky Fall Sale, Her Smile has not raced since closing from far back
with a wide run to check in 1 ¼ lengths behind victorious Musical
Romance in the Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 5.
“I don’t think the layoff will be an issue for her,” Brown said. “I
don’t know if she’ll run her ‘A’ race, but she’s training so well, I
don’t think she needs a race to win.”
Her Smile, who was previously trained by defending eight-time
Gulfstream training titlist Todd Pletcher, earned Grade 1 credentials on
July 4 with a triumph in the Prioress at Belmont Park.
“She came to me in really good shape. We just gave her a little
freshening at Palm Meadows,” Brown said. “She has worked very well every
time I’ve worked her, so I’m really looking forward to see her run and
use this race as a springboard for some other races.”
Javier Castellano, who was aboard the daughter of Include for her
triumph in the Prioress, will be back aboard for the 6 ½-furlong sprint
for fillies and mares.
“He knows the filly – won a Grade 1 on her – so I just figured to
put him back on her and regain her form that way,” Brown said.
Her Smile’s former trainer will try to beat her Sunday with R
Holiday Mood, who captured the one-mile Ocala Stakes for Florida-bred
fillies and mares in a dead-heat with Delightful Mary on Jan. 8.
“I think she’ll appreciate the cutback in distance. I think the mile
was really stretching her to her limits,” said Pletcher, whose daughter
of Trippi set a pressured pace in the Ocala and held on courageously to
earn a share of the winner’s purse. “It was a pretty courageous effort
off the layoff. She got pretty tired the last part but kept on fighting.
I think the 6 ½ will suit her much better.”