ARCADIA, Calif.—When you’re hot you’re hot. Leading trainer Doug O’Neill registered his second win on the day as his So Very Smart followed up on a galloping maiden win six days ago to take Friday’s $63,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by three quarters of a length while getting six furlongs under Abel Cedillo in 1:11.16.
Breaking from post position two in a field of six California-bred or sired fillies and mares three and up, So Very Smart tracked early leader Rain Diva in the run up the backside and was one length back with three furlongs to run. Rain Diva, who proved tenacious on the lead, was finally overhauled a sixteenth from home as Cedillo employed a strong hand ride to the wire, holding off runner-up Smoothlikebuttah at the wire.
“She was coming off a big win and she came out of the race in great shape,” said O’Neill, who registered his 12th win on day number 11 of the track’s Autumn Meet, three more than Bob Baffert and Peter Miller. “This race for Cal-breds came up and the racing office asked us about entering, so we considered everything and jumped in. Glad we did, she ran great.”
A 6 ¼ length Cal-bred maiden $45,000 winner going six furlongs on Oct. 16, So Very Smart was off at 6-1 and paid $14.40, $6.40 and $8.20.
Owned by UCLA head basketball coach Mick Cronin’s Boom Racing, C T R Stables, LLC (Calvert) and Great Friends Stables, LLC, So Very Smart, a 3-year-old filly by Smart Bid out of the Gone West mare So Posh, picked up $37,800 for the win, increasing her earnings to $84,860 from an overall mark of 7-2-2-0.
Last early, Smoothlikebuttah rallied well late to finish 1 ¼ lengths in front of Rain Diva.Off at 7-1 with Umberto Rispoli, Smoothlikebuttah paid $6.00 and $7.60.
Off at 6-1 with Kyle Frey, Rain Diva was off at 6-1 and paid $11.60 to show.
Next to last after the first quarter mile, heavily favored Delta Wind never threatened, finishing fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths at 3-5 with Joe Bravo.
Fractions on the race were 22.10, 45.09 and 57.71.
Race 6 Replay
Racing resumes with first post time for a nine-race card on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Office
Photo: So Very Smart (Benoit Photos)