BALTIMORE, Md. – Brad King, Stan Kirby, Suzanne Kirby and Barbara Coleman’s Smash Ticket registered her first stakes victory in emphatic fashion, sprinting to a popular front-running 6 ¼-length decision in Saturday’s $100,000 Weather Vane at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The third running of the six-furlong Weather Vane for 3-year-old fillies and 18th edition of the $100,000 Polynesian for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles were among four stakes worth $400,000 in purses on the final Saturday program of Pimlico’s nine-day fall meet.
Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche for trainer Rob Atras, both based in New York, Smash Ticket ($4) was never threatened in extending her win streak to three races, all this year. She returned from nearly 10 months away to capture a Lone Star allowance May 30 for previous trainer Todd Fincher before a gutsy neck triumph over older horses July 20 at Saratoga, also with Carmouche aboard.
“I thought she improved at least five, six lengths underneath me,” Carmouche said. “I know last time Rob told me he never had her where he wanted her for the race, but I thought she was the best filly in that race at Saratoga. Coming into this race when I warmed her up, man she felt so good and she was nice and relaxed, not sweating like last time. I knew Rob had her very, very tight today.”
Smash Ticket broke running as the even-money favorite from Post 2, posting fractions of 23.12 and 45.35 seconds pressed by fellow New York shipper Elm Drive. Smash Ticket ran third behind Elm Drive in last August’s Sorrento (G2) at Del Mar, which wound up being Smash Ticket’s 2-year-old season finale.
Smash Ticket put away Elm Drive once straightened for home, going five furlongs in 56.60 seconds and opening up down the stretch to win in 1:09.99 over a fast main track. Brad Cox-trained Famed came running late for second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Moody Woman, who edged Swayin to and Fro by a nose for third.
Glowsity, Elm Drive, May 21 Miss Preakness (G3) winner Lady Scarlet, Buy the Best, Sweet Gracie and Sweet Solare completed the order of finish.
“I thought she was the fastest horse in the race. I knew I would get a little pressure probably for the first quarter of a mile,” Carmouche said. “Rob took his time getting this horse back to the races. She warmed up really, really good today, better than last time, and I knew when she left there today I could get her to settle really good, and she did the rest. You don’t have to do much on good horses.”
The Weather Vane pays homage to the Maryland-bred mare trained by Richard W. Delp that won 17 races and $724,532 in purses from 1996 to 1998. A former claimer bred by William B. Delp, Weather Vane went on to register 14 stakes victories including the Safely Kept (G3) and Miss Preakness in 1997, the latter before it was graded, and capped her career by being named Maryland-bred champion older female of 1998.
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo by Jim McCue/MJC