Rested since March, Peter Eurton trainee Sheza Smoke Show came off the bench and struck in her graded debut June 28, claiming the $100,000 Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 28 at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO).
Given a ground-saving rail trip by jockey Joe Talamo, the 3-year-old Wilko filly shifted out to make her bid in the two path down the lane and rallied for a 1 1/4-length score at odds of 10-1. The 3-1 favorite, Famous Alice, put in a good run three wide but could not close enough ground to threaten.
"It was a great ride on Joe's part, and congrats to the connections," Eurton said. "We decided to give her some time (after the March 8 China Doll Stakes). There was nothing wrong with her. We just thought at the time, we didn't want to face those (tough) fillies of Tom Proctor and Carla Gaines, and she was just kind of tailing off a little bit. I thought she needed some weight put on her, but we just kept her at the barn, and it turned out awesome."
Sheza Smoke Show was fifth in the China Doll after breaking her maiden going 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf at Santa Anita Jan. 4 and winning a one-mile allowance event there Jan. 31. She returned in the one-mile Senorita against a field of nine other sophomore fillies, all assigned 118 pounds.
"We really didn't talk about a plan," Eurton said. "We figured Joe, being inside in the two hole, he'd figure it out. She's got natural speed and it worked out great, a hole opened up."
Disregarded took the early advantage in the Senorita, getting a quarter in :23.53 and a half in :47.02, then carrying on to post three-quarters in 1:11.03 and seven-eighths in 1:23.06 before being overtaken late.
"I had a lot of horse, but I had to stay busy on her," Talamo said. "Once she was out front, it seemed like she was waiting on other horses. She ran a great race and we had an absolutely perfect trip. I was able to save ground on both turns and I took her out that last part and I had a ton of horse. Peter just told me 'good luck' today. Coming off that long of a layoff and to have her in stakes-winning shape, I really tip my hat to him."
Sheza Smoke Show ran one mile on firm turf in 1:35.34, with Famous Alice followed home by Morning Fix and the tiring frontrunner.
The upset winner returned $23.20, $10.40, and $6 while Famous Alice brought $4.60 and $3.40 with Morning Fix paying $4.60 at odds of 6-1. Miss Machiavelli, Sushi Empire, Burning Arch, Lemon de Oro, and Rovenna completed the order of finish after Disregarded. Clenor was bumped at the start and pulled up by jockey Tyler Baze entering the first turn, but walked off the course. My Monet scratched.
Sheza Smoke Show was purchased for $100,000 by Ryan Exline from the Secure Investments consignment at the 2013 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s selected sale of 2-year-olds in training in March 2013, and races for a large partnership group that still includes Exline along with Jeff Biegler, Garrett Zubok, and others.
Bred in Kentucky by Butch Rice out of the A. P Jet mare Avery Hall, Sheza Smoke Show was a $25,000 yearling from the 2012 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale when consigned by Pope McLean and purchased by Our Stable. Her record stands at three wins and a third from six starts, with earnings of $138,438.