Edith Dixon’s Smart Enough, ridden by Patrick Husbands, blazed his way to a half-length tally in the $200,000 Scotts Highlander Stakes (Can-III) (VIDEO) on Queen’s Plate Sunday at Woodbine.
Smart Enough showed speed from the start of the six furlong grass contest, blistering the “firm” E.P. Taylor Turf Course through fractions of :22.12 and :44.56, before crossing the wire in gate-to-wire fashion in a final time of 1:08.53.
Although pressed by the odds-on choice Stradivinsky and jockey Emma Wilson throughout, Smart Enough never relinquished the lead and proved a handy winner over a charging Heros Reward, who had dead aim on the leader mid-stretch but couldn’t close the gap under John Velazquez. Stradivinsky held on for third, three-quarters of a length further back.
Smart Enough, a gelded 4-year-old son of Horse Chestnut, thus kept his 2007 record perfect. Trained by John Fisher, he’d come into the Scotts Highlander off a victorious opener June 2 at Monmouth Park, when he scored in the Wolf Hill Stakes in course record-equaling time of 1:00 4/5 seconds for the 5 1/2-furlong tilt.
It was the seventh win in only 10 career starts, all on the lawn, for Smart Enough. He’s never finished worse than third. Unraced as a juvenile, the chestnut had his coming out party last year, winning three minor stakes at Monmouth and Churchill Downs. He closed out the 2006 season with a solid runner-up finish to Unbridled Sidney in the Cherokee Run Breeders’ Cup Handicap Nov. 3 at Churchill.
For the win, Smart Enough picked up a pot of $120,000 to push his career bankroll to over $375,000. As the 5-2 second choice, he returned $7.50, $4.50 and $2.60, combining with Heros Reward ($6.80, $3.80) for a $44 exacta. Stradivinsky ($2.10 to show) completed a trifecta that paid $90.40.
Gangster ran fourth, followed by Storm Caller, The Nth Degree, My Imperial Dancer and Marco Be Good.