March 2, 2024

Smooth Like Strait tops seven in salty Eddie Read; Going Global heads San Clemente

Smooth Like Strait wins the 2021 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita (Benoit Photo)

Saturday’s 11-race program at Del Mar features a nice pair of graded turf stakes.

Shoemaker Mile (G1) winner Smooth Like Straight leads a fine cast of older horses in the $250,000 Eddie Read S. (G2), and multiple Grade 3 scorer Going Global will try to stretch her win streak to five in the $200,000 San Clemente S. (G2) for three-year-old fillies.

Eddie Read (G2) – Race 8 (8:30 p.m. ET)

Following a convincing odds-on victory in the May 31 Shoemaker Mile, Smooth Like Strait will look to carry his speed 1 1/8 miles in the Eddie Read. Five of his six stakes wins, including last year’s La Jolla (G3) and the 2019 Cecil B. DeMille (G3) over Del Mar’s turf, have come at shorter distances, but the four-year-old colt has run well in three previous attempts at nine furlongs, including a win in the Twilight Derby (G2) and a head second in the Hollywood Derby (G2) last fall.

In his most recent attempt at Saturday’s distance, Smooth Like Straight finished a neck third behind Domestic Spending and Colonel Liam in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs in early May. Michael McCarthy trains the Kentucky-bred son of Midnight Lute, and Umberto Rispoli retains the mount.

Six of the seven runners in the field are graded winners, and United will make a title defense. A half-length winner last year, the classy six-year-old has compiled five graded victories and more than $1.5 million in earnings. The Giant’s Causeway gelding opened 2021 with a victory in the San Luis Rey (G3) in mid-March, and United will try to rebound following a fourth as the odds-on favorite in the May 29 Charles Whittingham (G2). Flavien Prat rides.

Award Winner enters on the upswing, recording his first stakes triumph when upsetting the Whittingham at 6-1. Juan Hernandez pilots the five-year-old gelding for David Hofmans. Say the Word, winner of the Northern Dancer (G1) at Woodbine last fall and the Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland two back, should appreciate the added ground after finishing second in the Shoemaker Mile. Mike Smith will be up for Phil D’Amato.

Restrainedvengence, runner-up in last year’s Del Mar Mile (G2), exits a win in the June 20 American (G3) at Santa Anita. Multiple graded scorer Count Again, winner of the Seabiscuit (G2) at Del Mar last November, and longshot Vintage Point complete the lineup.

San Clemente (G2) – Race 10 (9:30 p.m. ET)

Unbeaten from four U.S. starts, Going Global should head to the post as a prohibitive favorite in the San Clemente. The Irish import opened her sophomore campaign with a half-length tally in the Sweet Life (G3) in mid-February. After narrow wins in the China Doll S. and Providencia (G3), the D’Amato-trained daughter of Mehmas rolled to a 4 3/4-length score in the May 22 Honeymoon (G3).

All four stakes wins came at Santa Anita, and late-running Going Global will seek to carry her forward to Del Mar with Prat.

Twelve fillies are set for the 1 1/8-mile turf event, and top rivals include stakes winners Closing Remarks, Madone, and Pizzazz.