As if the green and white halved silks of George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stables were not seen enough over Breeders’ Cup weekend….
Strawbridge’s Smart Bid, absent from the races since April, returned to capture the $100,000 Damascus stakes on the undercard of Breeders’ Cup Saturday. The 3-year-old son of Smart Strike traveled a perfect stalking-trip under Jeremy Rose, down on the rail. The favorite, M One Rifle set honest-enough fractions of 22.2, 44.3 and 1:08.3, while Smart Bid sat no more than 2-lengths off that at any point of the 7-furlong contest.
At the top of the stretch, Rose swung the homebred off the rail and to the right of the pace-setter. Smart Bid and pilot then dug down and proved best. The Damascus was Smart Bid’s first stakes win.
Smart Bid was last seen in Keeneland’s Transylvania Stakes during the famous track’s opening weekend to it’s Spring meeting. That day, Smart Bid put in his best performance-to date-with a second place finish in the 1 1/16 Grade III. Saturday the sophomore showed his versatility in winning a 7-furlong stake, while months earlier, he just missed in a 8.5-furlong contest. That versatility will give the colt’s connections many options from here out.
Graham has stated that the 7-furlong Grade I Malibu at Santa Anita on December 26 is on the 3-year-old’s radar.