Smoke Smoke Smoke rolled to an impressive win over Santana Strings in the $143,650 Lost Code Breeders' Cup Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters on the Illinois Derby (gr. II) undercard at Hawthorne Saturday.
In a second stakes on the undercard, the Todd Pletcher-trained Portsea defeated the favored Megascape by 2 1/2 lengths in the $144,000 Meafara Breeders' Cup Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, also at six furlongs.
In the Lost Code, even-money favorite Around the Cape set the swift early fractions (:22 1/5, :45 3/5) but wasn't around at the end, finishing four lengths behind in third as Smoke Smoke Smoke scooted home in 1:09 2/5 under Seth Martinez for trainer Hugh Robertson and owner Jer Mar Stables LLC.
Sitting in perfect position just off the pace Smoke Smoke Smoke grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and had to fend off the late rally by Santana Strings, who overcame a bump at the break to make it close.
Posting his fourth career victory from eight starts, Smoke Smoke Smoke, the gray/roan Kentucky-bred colt by Smoke Glacken
earned $86,640, more than doubling his career total, which now stands at $163,094.
Smoke Smoke Smoke returned $14.20, $5.60, and $2.60. Santana Strings, who was ridden by Larry Sterling Jr., came back $4.20 and $2.40, while Around the Cape (Herbert Castillo Jr.) was $2.10 to show.
In the Meafara, jockey Chris DeCarlo, breaking from the outside post in the field of eight, settled Portsea off a hot pace between Megascape, with Sterling aboard, and Angel Trumpet, ridden by Chris Emigh, who vied through fractions of :21 3/5 and :45 1/5.
Sitting about two lengths back, Portsea started her move in the turn and ranged up to the leaders in the stretch. As Angel Trumpet dropped back, Portsea edged up three wide while Megascape dug in but could not match the winner.
Sterling lodged a claim of foul as the two runners brushed slightly in the stretch, but Portsea was declared the official winner. She stopped the clock for the three-quarters of a mile in 1:10.92. Angel Trumpet held on to finish third.
Posting her third win in her sixth start, Portsea earned $86,400, boosting her career earnings to $148,130. Owned by Vinery Stables and trained by Pletcher, the bay daughter of More Than Ready
returned $7.80 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.00 to show.
Megascape came back $3.80 and $2.60, while Angel Trumpet returned $3.20 to show.