Favored Smokey Glacken toyed with her nine rivals in Saturday's $100,000 Hurricane Bertie Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park, drawing away to a front running 3 1/2-length victory.
The multiple graded stakes-winning 5-year-old mare earned her first victory in four starts at the 6 1/2-furlong distance, clocking a solid time of 1:15 2/5 with Javier Castellano in the irons.
James Jerkens trains the Kentucky-bred daughter of Forestry
, who was coming off a similar 4 1/4-length score in the six-furlong First Lady Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream last month for owners Susan and John Moore.
"In her last two starts, she broke very well," Jerkens said. "She can relax when she gets away fast early, and then she's really tough to beat."
Breaking from the extreme outside, Smokey Glacken went immediately to the front and angled to the inside on the turn while continuing to make the pace, completing fractions of :22 2/5 and :44 3/5. She drew clear in the stretch by about three lengths while ducking in briefly, faced a brief challenge from Atlas Valley and Rene Douglas rallying along the inside, then pulled away again as the 13-10 choice. Smokey Glacken paid $4.60, $3.20, and $2.60.
"She ducked in a little bit in the stretch, but that wasn't anything," Castellano said. "She's doing so good right now. I had an outside post, and I could stay away from the rail in the middle of the track and could just go. This has to be one of her best performances."
Atlas Valley ($5.40, $4.20) held off 40-1 shot Beautiful Bets ($8.40) and Mark Guidry by a neck for second.
Grade I winner Splendid Blended, making her first start since July 3 after being retired briefly with a leg injury, was bumped at the start by Menifeeque. She recovered to press the pacesetter but tired while challenging three wide on the turn and faded in the stretch.
Menifeeque ran fourth, followed by Injustice, Splendid Blended, So Much More, Ebony Breeze, For All We Know, and Pentelicus Dance. Kuanyan and La Chiflota scratched.
Now two-for-two in 2006, Smokey Glacken picked up her ninth lifetime win in 17 starts and increased her bankroll to $557,660.