Tiger became the second 3-year-old in four years to win the $245,000 Ancient
Title Stakes, holding off Supreme Summit to win the Grade I Saturday at Oak
in the afternoon, Liberian Freighter took advantage of a gorgeous trip to score
the biggest surprise in the history of the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile, winning by a
nose over Colgan’s Chip.
Idiot Proof (2007), P.T.’s Grey Eagle (2004) and Groovy (1986) as sophomores
who have had Ancient Title success, Smiling Tiger won for the second time in as
many starts over the Hollywood Park Cushion Track.
half-length winner against his own age group in the Lazaro Barrera Memorial on
May 22, the Hold That Tiger colt out of the Cahill Road mare Shandra Smiles won his
second Grade I in a little more than two months.
gate-to-wire winner in the Bing Crosby Handicap on Aug. 1 at Del Mar, Smiling Tiger prevailed by a
half-length Saturday after a pace pressing trip. The final time for the six
furlongs was 1:09.37.
by Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz and trained by Jeff Bonde, the 7-2 fourth
choice in the field of seven returned $9.20, $5.20 and $3. The victory was the
fifth in nine starts for the $40,000 yearling purchase. He has earned $519,864.
Baze rode Smiling Tiger for the first time in 14 months and the world’s
winningest jockey is now 3-for-4 on the Kentucky
bred. The Grade I victory was the first for Baze since he won the King’s Bishop
aboard Lost in the Fog at Saratoga
on Aug. 27, 2005.
rallied from last, paid $4.80 and $2.80. The show price on E Z’s Gentleman, the
2-1 favorite, was $2.60. He finished three-quarters of a length behind Supreme
Summit and a nose in front of Cost of Freedom, who was trying to become the
first horse to win the Ancient Title twice.
Ancient Title was a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ Challenge race.
Indications are Smiling Tiger is headed for Kentucky and a start in the Breeders’ Cup
Sprint on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
is a very nice colt,’’ said Baze. “He ran a gutty and determined race. I think
he’s got big things in front of him.He’s a three-quarter mile kind of horse and
we figured out a little bit more how to handle him in a race. I think we kind
of ticked him off with the way we were handling him in his races.’’
the Oak Tree Mile, which lost morning line favorite Sidney’s Candy – the
3-year-old Candy Ride colt was scratched Saturday morning due to his pending
sale – Liberian Freighter, sat third behind a rapid pace and was up to earn the
most significant win of his career.
longest shot in the field of six at 22-1 – the next highest price was 8-1 –
gave trainer Neil Drysdale his record sixth victory in the grassy Mile.
5-year-old Bertrando gelding out of the Slewpy mare Anachristina, Liberian Freighter
became the first California
bred to succeed in a race that was run for the 25th time Saturday.
by the estate of breeder Ed Nahem, Drysdale’s wife Shawn Dugan and Charles
Winner, Liberian Freighter won for the eighth time in 22 starts. The $90,000
payday increased his bankroll to $571,740.
by Martin Garcia, who earned his first Oak Tree Mile win, Liberian Freighter
paid $46.40, $15.40 and $6.60. The final time was 1:33.24.
Chip, who dispatched of Tropic Storm after the duo had drawn well clear of the
rest of the field through quick fractions (23.01, 45.78 and 1:09.78 for six
furlongs), paid $8 and $5. Tropic Storm, who finished 2 ¼ lengths behind
Colgan’s Chip, returned $3.80 to show.
Cry, the 8-5 favorite who had won the Shoemaker Mile locally in May, finished
Oak Tree Mile was a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ Challenge race, but
Drysdale indicated Liberian Freighter will remain at Hollywood Park.
The immediate goal is the $100,000 California Cup Mile on Oct. 30.
set up well and he relaxed well,’’ said Drysdale after his first victory in the
Mile since Aragorn in 2006. “It was set up with the two speed horses in front
of him. He had a lovely trip and got a lovely ride. I’m delighted. My wife owns
a piece of him, so I’m even happier.’’