ARCADIA, Calif.—Ridden for the first time by Mike Smith in her third Southern California start, Irish-bred Hamwood Flier (IRE) showed the way throughout in Sunday’s $80,000 Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita, winning by 2 ¼ lengths and providing Phil D’Amato with his second stakes win on the day and his meet-leading fifth added money win on day six of the 18-day Autumn Meet. The Swingtime, a restricted stakes for fillies and mares three and up at one mile on turf, was won in 1:33.34.
Although she stumbled leaving the gate, Hamwood Flier was immediately in front and had an eight-length advantage heading to the far turn and was never threatened in a dominant effort.
Idle since second as the 2-1 favorite in the restricted Osunitas Stakes at one mile on turf July 23 at Del Mar, Hamwood Flier, a 4-year-old filly by the Danehill stallion Kodiak, was off at 4-5 in a field of seven and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20.
She’s so quick she didn’t get her feet back underneath her. She just leaves the gate extremely fast and she’s just naturally a quick filly. Thanks to Phil, I’ve been hassling him for a mount now for about two months. He finally said, ‘I think I got you one man, one who can win.’ and he put me on the right one,” said Smith.
“You know, Richard Migliore always said, ‘It’s not how fast they go, it’s how they go fast.’ So, that’s kind of the way we played it today…She is just naturally fast and sometimes that’s their asset, that’s their weapon and I just used it to her advantage.”
Owned by Rockingham Ranch and Talla Racing, LLC, Hamwood Flier, who took a first condition allowance at one mile on turf here May 29, now has three wins, two seconds and a thirds in seven career starts.
“Joe (Bravo, who rode Hamwood Flier in her two previous starts) did nothing wrong, we just wanted to make a little change,” said D’Amato. “We were like a length or two away from winning (the Osunitas) and I don’t know if the rider switch made a difference or not, but this fast turf course sure helped today. Mike did a masterful job.”
Next to last at the half mile, Irish-bred Counterparty Risk rallied through the lane to just nip Sugar Fix by a nose for second money and paid $3.60 and $3.40 as the second choice at 9-2.
Sugar Fix, who appeared to be in a position to tackle the winner a furlon
Fractions on the race were 22.81, 45.46, 1:08.81 and 1:21.04.
Santa Anita.Press Release
Photo by Benoit