Trainer Scott Lake, leading the nation in wins this year with 250 victories but seldom seen in Florida, holds the strongest hand for the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Calder Race Course. He starts the team of Robert L. Cole Jr.'s Shake You Down and Richard Englander's My Cousin Matt in the Summit of Speed stakes for horses 3 and up.
Mike Luzzi rides Shake You Down as the 119-pound top weight from the far outside post position in a field of 13. Ramon Dominguez gets the call on My Cousin Matt at second highweight of 116 and post 3 for the six-furlong dash.
Shake You Down appears to be an emerging star in the ranks of older sprinters with four straight victories, including the Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) and True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont in his last two starts. The 5-year-old gelding by Montbrook was claimed for $65,000 at Aqueduct in March.
My Cousin Matt, a $100,000 claim last September at Belmont, has yielded big dividends since then, winning the rich Great State Challenge Sprint in Texas in December and the General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel in February.
The 4-year-old Matty G gelding made the long trip to Dubai, finishing a respectable fifth in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Stakes (gr. I) in March. In his lone start since – on June 21 at Suffolk Downs – he ran very well to be second to Peeping Tom in the James B. Moseley Handicap.
Trainer Darrell Vienna sends out a highly accomplished rival in David and Rita Milch's 6-year-old millionaire Echo Eddie, who finished second in the Smile last year behind Orientate, who would go on to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and Eclipse Award for outstanding sprinter.
Patrick Valenzuela rides Echo Eddie, who won a turf allowance sprint last out at Hollywood Park on June 4. The roan/gray son of Restless Con ran one of the biggest races of his career in the 2001 Dubai Golden Shaheen when second by a head to Caller One.$500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. III), 3 & up, 6 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Lord Abounding (FL), 112, Jorge F. Chavez
2. Here's Zealous (KY), 113, Cornelio H. Velasquez
3. My Cousin Matt (FL), 116, Ramon A. Dominguez
4. Juggernaut (KY), 114, Jerry D. Bailey
5. Echo Eddie (CA), 115, Patrick A. Valenzuela
6. Swift Replica (FL), 111, Gary Boulanger
7. Built Up (FL), 114, Manuel Aguilar
8. Bills Paid (WA), 110, Julio A. Garcia
9. Demeteor (KY), 110, Rosemary B. Homeister, Jr.
10. Hear No Evil (FL), 110, Eduardo O. Nunez
11. Private Horde (KY), 113, Jason P. Lumpkins
12. Tour of the Cat (FL), 114, Abad Cabassa, Jr.
13. Shake You Down (FL), 119, Michael J. Luzzi