Longshot Get Smokin Wires Kentucky Turf Cup

Get Smokin | Coady


When they throw $1.7 million at a race that entitles the winner to a guaranteed, fees-paid berth in the field for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf, sometimes you cast all logic aside and roll the dice against all odds.

As the saying goes, 'you miss 100% of the shots you don't take,' and it was with that mindset that Get Smokin (Get Stormy)–a Grade II and Grade III winner, but unproven over the 12-furlong trip of the GII FanDuel Kentucky Cup Turf–was even entered in the first place. But given a perfect ride from the front by Fernando de la Cruz on a day the rail was where you wanted to be at Kentucky Downs, the chestnut, off at 19-1, forgot to stop and proved 1 3/4 lengths superior over Spooky Channel (English Channel) when all was said and done. Santin (Medaglia d'Oro) raced prominently throughout and settled for third.

“I have often told [Ironhorse Racing Managing Partner] Harlan [Malter] that he is the craziest owner I train for. But this was not a crazy idea,” winning trainer Mark Casse said in the immediate aftermath of the upset.

The hard-fought winner of a Gulfstream allowance first off a September layoff back in April, Get Smokin was sixth in a graded-stakes quality renewal of the Opening Verse S. at Churchill May 4, then was run down late and finished runner-up in the GIII Arlington S. June 3 and in the July 1 Wise Dan S. at Ellis. Tried over 10 furlongs for the first time in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup Aug. 6, Get Smokin made the running, but was reeled in late and settled for fourth.

Though he had a bit of early company in the form of Santin in the final event of Saturday's stakes-laden program, Get Smokin took the field into the first turn and opened up four or five lengths on his rivals as they hit the backstretch. Despite the loose lead, Get Smokin switched off beautifully on the engine, getting the half in :49.61 and the opening six panels in a comfortable 1:14.18.

Even though the next couple of furlongs were covered in a testing :23.81, Get Smokin was still full of run down the side of the track, daring some proven stayers to come and get him. But catch him they could not, as he switched his leads at the quarter pole, flopped back and forth in the final furlong, but remained clear to the wire.

Malter was full of praise for de la Cruz, who won back-to-back runnings of the GII Woodford S. aboard Ironhorse's Bucchero (Kantharos) before also partnering with the horse in consecutive renewals of the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

“We looked at this race,” Malter said. “We wanted to test out at Ellis [in the 1 1/4-mile prep]. Even though we ran fourth, we were happy. He ran a similar figure to what he was running at a mile and a sixteenth. We were all systems go. We kind of came up with the idea to have Fernando. We made a very specific plan, and it's amazing how well Fernando executed it.”

Pedigree Notes:

By Get Stormy, winner of the GI Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at nine furlongs on the turf, Get Smokin is out of a mare by noted sprint sire Smoke Glacken. There is a bit of stamina as you go down the page, as second dam Doc's Leading Lady–the dam of MSW Spanish Pipedream (Scat Daddy)–was a full-sister to Phi Beta Doc, who set a Saratoga course record when winning the 1999 GIII Saranac S. over a mile and three-sixteenths before annexing that year's 10-furlong Virginia Derby, also in course-record time. Third dam Smart Queen was a half-sister to 1977 GII Arkansas Derby hero Clev Er Tell (Tell).

Hookah Lady is the dam of a 2-year-old colt by Vino Rosso who was a $32,000 RNA as a KEENOV weanling, then sold for $35,000 at KEESEP last fall before blossoming into a $550,000 OBS March breezer. Smoldering Ash, a yearling full-sister to Get Smokin, went for $102,000 at this year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Sale to NBS Stable's John Ballantyne, coincidentally the owner of Turf Cup runner-up Spooky Channel. The mare produced a Classic Empire colt this year and was bred back to Practical Joke.

Saturday, Kentucky Downs
FANDUEL KENTUCKY TURF CUP S.-GII, $1,675,429, Kentucky Downs, 9-9, 3yo/up, 1 1/2mT, 2:28.66, fm.
1–GET SMOKIN, 122, g, 6, by Get Stormy
                1st Dam: Hookah Lady, by Smoke Glacken
                2nd Dam: Doc's Leading Lady, by Doc's Leader
                3rd Dam: Smart Queen, by King Pellinore

($11,000 Ylg '18 FTKOCT). O-Ironhorse Racing Stable LLC, BlackRidge Stables LLC, T-N-T Equine Holdings, LLC and Saratoga Seven Racing Partners, LLC; B-Hurstland Farm, Inc. & James Greene Jr. (KY); T-Mark E. Casse; J-Fernando De La Cruz. $972,220. Lifetime Record: 27-6-7-2, $1,650,497. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Spooky Channel, 124, g, 8, English Channel–Spooky Kitten, by Kitten's Joy. ($10,000 Ylg '16 FTKOCT). O-NBS Stable; B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-Jason Barkley. $316,200.
3–Santin, 122, h, 5, Distorted Humor–Sentiero Italia, by Medaglia d'Oro. O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brendan P. Walsh. $158,100.
Margins: 1 3/4, HD, NO. Odds: 19.57, 17.54, 4.29.
Also Ran: Red Knight, Verstappen, Kitodan, Me and Mr. C, Therapist, Never Explain, Foreign Relations, Another Mystery, Nautilus (Brz). Scratched: Cellist, Highest Honors, Red Run, Sy Dog.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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