Get Smokin Sharp Off Layoff, Wins Tampa Bay Stakes

Making his first start since late November, Mary Abeel Sulllivan Revocable Trust’s Get Smokin sat just off the lead for the first six furlongs, took command on the turn for home, then drew off comfortably to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.

Ridden by Junior Alvarado, the Thomas Bush-trained 4-year-old gelded son of Get Stormy covered 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.75. He returned $10 for the win, his third in 12 starts and second graded stakes triumph.

Eons checked in second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, with a fast closing Admission Office a neck back in third, Talk or Listen fourth and 5-2 favorite Greyes Creek fifth in the field of 12 older runners.

Usually a front-runner, including his last start when fourth in the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar, Get Smokin settled into second when longshot Proven Strategies forged to an early lead. The latter went an opening  quarter mile in :22.75, a half in :46.39 and six furlongs in 1:10.65.

Alvarado sent Get Smokin after the pacesetter into the far turn and the gelding spurted away from the field with a strong move at the top of the stretch. He hit the mile marker in 1:34.44 en route to his final clocking.

“I had to get out of there running,” said Alvarado. “He’s a fast horse and he likes to be on the lead, but I knew (Proven Strategies) has a lot of speed too, so it wasn’t necessary for me to keep going after him and go head-to-head. So I took a hold and my horse came back to me beautifully and relaxed so well. I knew the whole way around I had plenty of horse under me and by the three-eighths pole, when I put him outside and started picking it up, I had plenty of horse left. Turning for home, I was just a passenger and keeping him happy and he started picking it up on his own without me asking, so I knew I was in good shape.”

“We’re thrilled,” Bush said. “We were worried about the speed in there and I knew that one horse (pace-setter Proven Strategies) would be a little bit of a thorn in our side today, but (Get Smokin) was ready today. We were pretty confident. (Junior Alvarado) rode a beauty for sure. Our horse was coming into it great, we gave him a little freshening after California and he has really responded since he got to Florida. He’s been in the feed tub and we were really hoping he would run this race and he did. We’re probably going to hold off on him and hopefully he will be ready for Keeneland. (Owner Mary Abeel Sullivan) lives in Vero Beach and just watched it on TV and she just called and is very excited. She will be 92 on Monday and is thrilled.”

The post Get Smokin Sharp Off Layoff, Wins Tampa Bay Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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