Into Mischief's Quester Gives Trainer Heather Smullen Her First Winner

Heather Smullen earns her first victory as a trainer Thursday | Ryan Thomspon

7th-Gulfstream, $43,000, (S), Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($20,000), 5-30, 3yo/up, 1mT, 1:34.53, fm, 1 length.
QUESTER (c, 3, Into Mischief–Osare {SW, $234,605}, by Medaglia d'Oro), third in his debut going 5 1/2 panels for Todd Pletcher on the main track here in March, came back to score extending to 8 1/2 furlongs Apr. 19. Given a 4-1 chance to make it two straight switching to the care of Heather Smullen, he stalked the early pace, took over in the stretch and inched clear late to score by a length over Dear Dad (Khozan). The victory represented the first victory for Smullen, former assistant to Ralph Nicks. During her tenure with Nicks, she also served as an exercise rider to champion 2-year-old filly Caledonia Road and GI Florida Derby and GI Travers S. winner Tiz the Law. “It feels great. I've been really lucky,” she said after her win Thursday. “I have a lot of owners and managers and people who have supported me over the years. I've been lucky to have the opportunity to have nice horses,” she said. Smullen's career as an exercise rider ended following an accident on Labor Day morning at Saratoga in 2022 that left her with a broken fibula and tibia in her right leg. She has served at Gulfstream Park as an assistant for Arindel Farms, as well as for trainers Dale Romans and Phil Serpe over the past several years. “I've worked as an assistant for about 20 years,” said Smullen, a niece of Tagg's assistant trainer Robin Smullen. “I've been lucky to have been around good horses.” Smullen currently has a stable of 12 horses at Gulfstream. Osare produced a full-brother to the winner in 2022 followed by a filly by Gun Runner last season. She was bred back to Life Is Good. Sales history: $775,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP; $100,000 3yo '24 KEEAPR. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-1, $58,740. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
O-Lawana L. and Robert E. Low; B-Bridlewood Farm (FL); T-Heather Smullen.

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