The winner patiently tracked streaking pace-setter Oilgonewile, gained command entering the stretch and gradually drew away while covering the distance in 1:15.26.
Empressive Lady was a late scratch after she became fractious in the starting gate.
Trained by Bruce Headley for Marsha Naify, Free Flying Soul paid $5.40, $3.40 and $2.10. Golden Doc A. returned $4 and $2.10 while the show price on Ashley’s Kitty was $2.10.
Returning from a 46-day freshening, the 4-year-old daughter of Quiet American acquired her third win in seven career starts while earning $40,146 and elevating her career total to $115,646.
Previously, Free Flying Soul had finished third when tiring in an optional claiming race at Del Mar on Aug. 27 after being on the shelf since January. “She needed that race at Del Mar,” Smith said. “I thought she’d move forward off of it, and she surely did.”
In an earlier supporting feature, Arnold Zetcher’s Zardana took the 5th running of the $64,100 Swingtime Stakes when the 5-year-old Brazilian-bred mare scored by three-quarters of a length over General Consensus in the one-mile turf event for fillies and mares.
With Victor Espinoza in the saddle, Zardana gained her sixth victory in 15 career starts as she tracked pace-setter Bahama Mama, took control entering the stretch and safely withstood the closing bid by General Consensus with Alex Solis aboard.
Bahama Mama, the 8-5 favorite while coupled with fourth-place Meydan Prince, held on for third, another length back under Smith. The final time was 1:34.87.
The winner, trained by John Shirreffs, paid $5.80, $4.20 and $2.20 in the field of seven. The prices on General Consensus were $4.80 and $2.40. Bahama Mama paid $2.10 to show. The winning purse of $38,220 boosted Zardana’s career earnings to $203,421.
Oak Tree racing will take a one-day hiatus on Tuesday before resuming on Wednesday to begin a five-day race week with first post at 1 p.m.