Smart Enough, winner of the Highlander Stakes (Can-IIIT) (VIDEO) in 2007, returned to Woodbine June 21 to capture the $184,834 grass renewal for sprinters in front-running fashion.
Ridden by Jeremy Rose, 6-year-old Smart Enough took the lead from True to Tradition shortly after the start and dictated the race from there, leaving his rivals behind in the homestretch to win by two lengths in a steady drive. The final time for the six-furlong event was 1:08.26 on a 'good' course.
Trained by John Fisher for owner Edith R. Dixon, the Kentucky homebred gelding by Horse Chestnut was coming off a gate-to-wire victory as the odds-on choice in the Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth Park May 30.
"He got hurt in the Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland last year," Fisher said." It's taken us this long to get him back. I knew he was back after his race at Monmouth."
In a field that appeared to have plenty of speed, Smart Enough got away at odds of 7-1. In three starts on the Woodbine lawn now, the turf sprint specialist has two Highlander wins and a third-place finish in the 2007 Nearctic Stakes (gr. IIT).
True to Tradition led out of the gate before Smart Enough sprinted away to gain a clear advantage after a quarter-mile in :22.32 and a half in :44.73. True to Tradition continued to chase the leader into the stretch before fading in the final furlong.
"Doc Fisher did a great job getting him ready. I just held on for a while," said Rose, who won his first race at Woodbine since Connections won the Kennedy Road in 2007. "A horse that relaxes the first part usually has something to finish with. He relaxed really well off the bit."
Field Commission , making his first start on turf, rallied from between horses for second for jockey Tyler Pizarro while never threatening the winner. Field Commission finished a neck better than 2-1 choice Heros Reward, who raced from off the pace for Javier Castellano and finished third while all out. Heros Reward won the 2008 Highlander.
Legal Move, Yankee Injunuity, Mr. Nightlinger, True Vindication, True to Tradition, Shadowless, and Stuck in Traffic completed the order.
The ultra-consistent Smart Enough has won 12 of his 21 starts and has finished out of the money just once in his career. The Highlander victory, worth $105,720, boosted his lifetime total to $867,317. The chestnut, bred by F.E. Dixon Jr., is out of Quick 'n Smart, by Polish Numbers.
Smart Enough defeated runner-up Heros Reward in the 2007 Highlander by a half-length after setting the pace. He became the second two-time winner of the race since Soaring Free in 2005.
Sent off as the third choice, Smart Enough carried 115 pounds and paid $16.40, $9.60, and $4.70 while keying a $2 exacta of $264.50. The 11-1 shot Field Commission, coming off a win in Woodbine's Vigil Stakes (Can-III) on Polytack last time out for trainer Daniel Vella, returned $12.50 and $6.30. The multiple graded winner Heros Reward paid $3 to show.