|Daily Racing Form|
|Sunday, March 14
|Smith wins Santa Margarita aboard Adoration|
By Jay Privman
Daily Racing Form
ARCADIA, Calif. -- Mike Smith got knocked down, but he got back up again. After doing a 2 1/2-pike with a twist when dislodged from Laditude at the start of Sunday's San Felipe Stakes, Smith returned one hour later at Santa Anita and guided Adoration to victory in the Grade 1, $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap.
The win was the first in three starts for Adoration since her 40-1 shocker in the Breeders' Cup Distaff here on Oct. 25. She had since finished second in the Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park, and fourth in this track's Santa Maria Handicap, both of which were won by Star Parade.
As in the Bayakoa and Santa Maria, Star Parade went for the lead, and Adoration was forced to chase. But this time, rather than retreat, Adoration reeled in Star Parade in upper stretch and drew clear to win by two lengths. Star Parade set fractions of 23.20 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 46.76 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:11.07 for six furlongs. Adoration completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:48.85.
Star Parade held on for second, a head in front of Bare Necessities, the 8-5 favorite. La Tour and Fencelineneighbor completed the order of finish.
Adoration ($6.60) was coupled in the wagering with Fencelineneighbor, as both are owned by John and Jerry Amerman. David Hofmans trains Adoration.
"She was oozing confidence today," Smith said. "David was confident, the whole team. She had a little temperature a few days before her last race, not bad, but she wasn't herself that day. She was going easy the whole way. I said, 'All right, mama, it's yours when you want it.' It was nice for the Breeders' Cup winner to redeem herself."
Hofmans said Adoration "came into this race a little better than her last."
"I backed off and let her gain a little weight, let her get back to herself," Hofmans said.
Adoration, a 5-year-old mare by Honor Grades, has now won six times in 17 starts.
"Everything went our way," said Darrell Vienna, who trains Star Parade. "(Adoration) ran great today. We've been beating up on her, and she got back."Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories