Smooth Like Strait

There Goes Harvard the Latest Grade I-Winning Homebred for Michael Cannon

Owner Michael Cannon woke up on Memorial Day with a gut feeling. Cannon Thoroughbreds was going to win a Grade I that day. His inkling didn't come without good reason. The stable's leading earner Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) would be attempting to defend his title in the GI Shoemaker Mile and was slated as the 4-5 morning-line favorite. Of course as anyone in this business can attest, favoritism doesn't secure a trip to the winner's circle no matter how small the odds. So while Smooth Like Strait had to...

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Smooth Like Strait 'On Top of His Game,' Seeking Shoemaker Repeat

Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) will attempt to defend his title in the GI Shoemaker Mile--a Win and You're In event for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile--when he faces five rivals in the Santa Anita contest Monday. The 5-year-old, the 4-5 morning-line favorite, was runner-up in four graded events following last year's Shoemaker, setting the pace before getting past late by Space Blues in the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Making his 2022 debut, he set the pace before ending up third in a blanket finish in...

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Count Again Somehow Under the Radar in Maker's Mark Mile

The owner of some very solid West Coast form, Count Again (Awesome Again) nevertheless projects to be at least a little bit forgotten from a pari-mutuel perspective in a high-class renewal of the GI Maker's Mark Mile, the Good Friday feature at Keeneland. A maiden winner during this track's fall meet in 2019 when under the care of Neil Howard, the bay won the 10-furlong GIII Singspiel S. for trainer Gail Cox in 2020, but has been kept between eight and nine panels since being switched to the barn of...

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Homebred Smooth Like Strait Runs for More Than Mike Cannon

For obvious reasons, Mike Cannon has enjoyed the run that Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) is on. It's not just that he's become a Grade I winner this year, has earned $933,823 in his career or that he is the morning line favorite in Saturday's GII Eddie Read S. at Del Mar. That matters to Cannon, but maybe not as much as the fact that the horse's success has allowed him to pump a large sum of money into a charity he supports, The Special Operations Care Fund (SOC-F). While...

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Level Playing Field For Eddie Read

Saturday's GI Eddie Read S. at Del Mar brings together arguably the Southern California circuit's best middle-distance horse in the form of LNJ Foxwoods' United (Giant's Causeway) and Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute), clearly best at a mile, but who has run with merit over the nine-furlong trip as well. United, runner-up in the 2019 GI Breeders' Cup Turf over a mile and a half, made last year's Eddie Read the third of a three-race winning streak and he added a victory in the 10-furlong GI John Henry...

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Smooth Like Strait Gets His Grade I In Shoemaker Mile

Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute), narrowly beaten in three previous attempts at the top level, earned an automatic berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile with a wire-to-wire victory in the GI Shoemaker Mile S. Monday at Santa Anita. Sent off at 3-5, the bay colt broke alertly and took the early lead under his own steam. He hugged the rail while pressed by Restrainedvengeance (Hold Me Back) and Whisper Not (GB) (Poet's Voice {GB}) and the top trio separated themselves from the rest of the field through...

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Hit The Road Rallies To Win the Kilroe Mile

Hit the Road (More Than Ready) struck a blow for the locals, parlaying a perfect trip into a stirring short-neck victory in Saturday's GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile S. at Santa Anita. Drawn in gate two with the visiting Florent Geroux in the irons, Hit the Road found the perfect spot in the box seat, as Flying Scotsman (English Channel) sped across from his outside barrier to supplant favored Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute). The pace was sensible through the middle stages, with positions largely unchanged, and Hit the Road...

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Comet Rides Hot Streak into Kilroe Mile

Ride a Comet (Candy Ride {Arg}) rides a four-race win streak into his first try at the highest level in Saturday's GI Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita. Starting off his hot streak with a victory in the GII Del Mar Derby in September of 2018, the blue-blooded bay was on the sidelines for 25 months and returned with an optional claimer score on the Woodbine synthetic Oct. 16. Capturing the GII Kennedy Road S. over that oval Nov. 21, he won the GIII Tropical Turf S. back on the...

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Smooth Like Strait Headlines Mathis Brothers Mile

Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the GII Mathis Brothers Mile at Santa Anita Saturday. The Mike McCarthy trainee, first or second in five of six starts so far this year, won the Oct. 18 GII Twilight Derby and missed by just a head when second in the Nov. 28 GI Hollywood Derby last time out. Three Diamond Farms' Field Pass (Lemon Drop Kid), winner of the July 12 GIII Transylvania S. at Keeneland, was third in the Twilight Derby and returns to...

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East Coasters Done No Favors In Hollywood Derby Draw

Five horses based with powerhouse outfits on the East Coast have shipped into Southern California for Saturday's GI Hollywood Derby and in a cruel twist, they have been allocated the 'visitors' draw' in five of the six widest gates in what will be a field of 12. Trainer Christophe Clement has never won the Derby, but he is double-fisted with a pair of high-quality turf sophomores. Gufo (Declaration of War) has won five of his seven trips to the post, having earned a maiden graded success in the GIII Kent...

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Solid Field of Nine Set for Twilight Derby

A field of nine, topped by 5-2 morning-line favorite Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute), will line up for Sunday's GII Twilight Derby at Santa Anita. Smooth Like Strait, winner of Del Mar's GIII Cecil B. DeMille S. last December and GIII La Jolla H. in August, raced three deep on a hot pace and understandably tired to fourth as the favorite in the GII American Turf S. at Churchill Downs last time Sept. 5. The Cannon Thoroughbreds homebred worked five furlongs in 1:00 (5/37) for trainer Michael McCarthy at Santa...

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Cali Invader Seeks Third 'Strait' in American Turf

Cannon Thoroughbreds homebred Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) seeks his third consecutive victory as he returns to Churchill Downs for the $500,000 GII American Turf S. Saturday. A winner of last December's GIII Cecil B. DeMille S. Dec. 1 at Del Mar, the bay returned to winning ways three starts later in the War Chant S. going a sixteenth shorter here May 23. He was last seen annexing the GIII La Jolla H. back in San Diego Aug. 9 over champion juvenile and GI Kentucky Derby entrant Storm the Court...

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