Sunday, June 14, 2009


ALBANY -- Smiling Tiger, who won his career debut by six lengths on May 1, topped that performance Saturday at Golden Gate Fields when he scored an eight-length victory in the $75,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes.

Ridden by Russell Baze and trained by Jeff Bonde, Smiling Tiger won the five-furlong feature for 2-year-olds in 57.78 seconds and paid $3.80 as the odds-on favorite in a field of nine. Sweet Tigger took second by three-quarters of a length over Roos On the Loose.

Smiling Tiger may not be the most well-mannered colt but he does know how to run. A Kentucky-bred son of Hold That Tiger, Smiling Tiger threw a fit prior to his first race, unseating Baze twice in the post parade and running off.

Smiling Tiger didn't buck off Baze prior to the Lost in the Fog but it wasn't from lack of effort.

"He tried to bounce me off a couple of times today but he was better than last time," said Baze. "He jumps around and screws around but I'm ready for him now. He's kind of rambunctious but he has talent and he's still learning."

Smiling Tiger broke fourth in the field but zoomed to the lead once Baze got him in stride.

"He was a little slow leaving there but once I tapped him on the shoulder and yelled at him, he started to roll," said Baze.

Smiling Tiger held a three-length lead after running the opening quarter of a mile in 21.62 seconds and drew off in the stretch when Baze asked him to get serious.

"I was surprised when I saw the early fractions because he was running well within himself," said Baze. "When I asked him, he sprinted away. This colt is going to be all right."

Bonde also believes Smiling Tiger has a bright future.

"It was a pretty convincing win and the horse really didn't run his best race," said Bonde. "He didn't break all that well but then got into it. The horse never seems to get tired - he just keeps on comin' - so I don't think running him a little longer will be a problem. He's a quality horse."

Smiling Tiger is owned by Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz. Purchased as a yearling for $40,000, Smiling Tiger earned $45,000 Saturday and has banked $62,400 in his two starts.

TRACK NOTES: Sammy Davis, a speedy Dachshund owned by Patrick Major of Pleasanton, won the Wiener Nationals Championship at Golden Gate Fields Saturday... The 2008-2009 racing season concludes Sunday with an 11-race program that will offer fans $1 specials (general parking, general admission, programs, hot dogs, beers and sodas are all just a buck) and live music by The Cheeseballs. Post time is 12:45 p.m.

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