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Smith Mimicks Dominguez Aboard Little Mike

Little Mike is Breeders' Cup-bound once again after winning Saturday's Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, trainer Dale Romans confirmed on Sunday.

 

"It looks like he came out of [the race] good," said Romans, who trains the 6-year-old for Priscilla Vaccarezza. "He's a very sound horse. He dances every dance. At least he'll get a little more respect now."

 

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was Little Mike's first win since his victory in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf and his first race with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith aboard. The 2013 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf will be contested on November 2 at Santa Anita.

 

"With Mike [Smith] having had that race under his belt and [Santa Anita] being his home racetrack, I feel pretty good about going," said Romans.

 

Last year, Ramon Dominguez rode the gelding to a win in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, a fifth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and a triumph in the Breeders' Cup Turf. After the 2013 Turf Classic, Smith said he mimicked Dominguez's hand placement on Little Mike.

 

"It was pretty smart of Mike [Smith] to think like that," said Romans. "Whatever he did, it worked. He ran like he did for Ramon. Ramon texted me last night to congratulate me. I told him what Mike said, and he got a kick out of that."

 

Romans added that Little Mike will return to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

 

 

What the Nation is saying about Smith Mimicks Dominguez Aboard Little Mike...

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Both Mike's are amazing and I'm really glad Little Mike is back. Strong effort in the end but is he be able to have a better performance in the Breeders Cup! I will be cheering him on all the way.

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