Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith won his third stakes of the Winter Thoroughbred meet, guiding Intimidate to a 1 ¼ length score in the $100,345 King Glorious Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Smith, who captured the Grade II Bayakoa with Majestic Heat Dec. 3 and the Grade I Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity with McKinzie – via disqualification – Dec. 9, has won nine stakes locally since thoroughbred racing returned in July, 2014.
Much troubled when well-beaten in the Golden Nugget Nov. 11 at Golden Gate Fields after winning the first two starts of his career over that track’s synthetic surface, Intimidate broke sharply in the King Glorious and essentially battled throughout with 7-1 shot Lucky Romano before asserting his superiority in the final sixteenth of a mile.
Owned by James Eaton, Maria Hess and breeder Don Muldoon and trained by Bob Hess, Sr., Intimidate, a 2-year-old son of Vronsky and the Perfect Mandate mare Perfect Hostess, completed the mile in 1:38.76 in his introduction to dirt.
The $57,000 payday increased his earnings to $99,640 and he paid $10, $6.40 and $4.40 as the 4-1 second choice in the field of seven.
“He was lucky he didn’t go down last time,’’ said Hess, Sr., recalling Intimidate’s bad luck shortly after the start of the Golden Nugget. “I didn’t know if he could run a mile and I didn’t know if he could run on dirt, but I knew he can run.
“We had to find out and this looked like a pretty good spot. (Smith) rode him exactly the way I told him. I said, ‘You ride him.’ We know now he can handle two turns and dirt and I think he might do better as time goes on.’’
Smith was impressed with the winner in his initial collaboration with the chestnut.
“He ran a great race,’’ he said. “He got to pull himself up a little and was leaning in the stretch, but I was able to straighten him out and he held them off.’’
In his first start as a gelding, Lucky Romano paid $7.80 and $4.60 while finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of 5-1 shot Campaigner. The show price on Campaigner was $4.40.
Completing the order of finish were Minoso, Royal Trump, Bookies Luck, the 6-5 favorite on the strength of consecutive stakes wins at Del Mar, and Oh Man.
DOUBLE PICK SIX CARRYOVER WITH MANDATORY PAYOUT AWAITS SUNDAY
For the second consecutive day, there were no perfect Pick Six tickets Saturday, so there will be a carryover of $79,378 when racing resumes Sunday, closing day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos.
The carryover was assured when first time starter Kaleidoscope Kid, a 2-year-old gelded son of Papa Clem, scored a 6-1 upset under jockey Alonoso Quinonez in Saturday’s 10th race for owner-breeder Legacy Ranch and trainer David Hofmans.
Post time Sunday is 12 Noon. The Pick Six will begin in the fifth race, which has a scheduled post time of 1:58 p.m.
Source: Los Alamitos Race Course