From Los Alamitos Publicity
CYPRESS, Calif. (Dec. 16, 2017) – 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 Stakes for Golden State Series eligible 2-year-olds 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.
Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time for the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet is 12 Noon.