Sprint Contender Smokey Stover Turns in Swift Move

Sprint Contender Smokey Stover Turns in Swift Move
Photo: AP/Equi-Photo
Smokey Stover
Smokey Stover, in his final local workout for the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, turned in a sharp five-furlong drill in :58 1/5 Oct. 14 under jockey Russell Baze at Bay Meadows.
 
The workout took place between the second and third races at the San Mateo track. Both Baze and trainer Greg Gilchrist were happy with the move.
 
"Maybe it was a little faster than Greg wanted, but he did it easy," said Baze. "We started easy, he picked it up on the turn, and picked it up a little more in the lane."
 
"I thought it was fine," said Gilchrist when contacted at the barn about 20 minutes after the work. "I was looking for something like :59 and change to a minute, but I'm watching him cool out now and he seems fine. He did most of it in the final part of the work."
 
The grade II winner Smokey Stover was timed in :23 3/5 for the opening quarter of a mile and :46 4/5 for the half-mile. He completed the final furlong of his workout in a quick :11 2/5.
 
"That's a pretty good final eighth of a mile," commented Gilchrist. "This is (the work) when you want to let them go. We'll come back next Monday (Oct. 22) with another work at Monmouth Park and look for something much slower. About 1:01 would be a good time."
 
Jockey Aaron Gryder, who will ride Smokey Stover in the Breeders' Cup Sprint Oct. 27, will be aboard the 4-year-old gelding when he works at Monmouth.
 
Smokey Stover will fly to the Oceanport, N.J., track on Oct. 18. With Gryder aboard, the Florida-bred son of Put It Back won the Icecapade Stakes over the Monmouth strip in his last start Sept. 1 by two lengths in a solid time of 1:08 4/5. 
 
Owned by Harry J. Aleo of San Francisco, Smokey Stover is among the top-ranked sprinters in the nation. Smokey Stover has won eight of his 13 career starts and has never finished out of the money while earning $568,725.

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