Northern Shipper Grand Slam Smile Keeps To Her Task And Takes $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Debutante
NORTHERN SHIPPER GRAND SLAM SMILE KEEPS TO HER TASK AND TAKES $100,000 FASIG-TIPTON DEBUTANTE BY A HALF LENGTH AS SPECHT & ALVARADO TEAM FOR FIVE FURLONG SCORE IN 58.41
CALIFORNIA-BRED DAUGHTER OF SMILING TIGER WINS FOR LARRY & MARIANNE WILLIAMS
ARCADIA, CA (June 17, 2023)—In a race delayed by 11 minutes due to a late scratch at the starting gate, Saturday’s $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Debutante shaped up as a potential match race in the totalizator board, as Jeff Bonde’s California-bred Crazy Hot held sway at 3-5 and Hector Palma’s French-bred Becky’s Dream loomed a stout second choice at 9-5.
Enter Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ homebred Grand Slam Smile, who vanned down from her Golden Gate Fields base on Wednesday morning with trainer Steve Specht. The third choice at 7-2, Grand Slam Smile shaded Becky’s Dream to the top of the lane and with Crazy Hot looming large to her outside, the California-bred daughter of Smiling Tiger shook off Crazy Hot leaving the furlong pole, kept to her task and overhauled Becky’s Dream under a hand ride from Frank Alvarado in the final 30 yards, prevailing by a half length while getting five furlongs in 58.41.
“Everyone was in the same boat at the gate, everyone (was) walking and waiting,” said Alvarado. “I was worried a little bit because it is hot and she had never been in this kind of heat, but she handled it pretty good.
“At the three eighths pole, I went inside a bit and I thought I had it, the only horse that concerned me was Bonde’s filly because she was outside and she put a little pressure (on us). I didn’t want her to pass me and get dirt in my filly’s face because she never had dirt on her face before…”
A 4 length first-out winner in open company in a 4 ½ furlong maiden race on synthetic Tapeta May 14, Grand Slam Smile paid $9.40 and $4.20 with no show wagering.
Out of the good producing Grand Slam mare Royal Grand Slam, Grand Slam Smile, undefeated in two starts, picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $83,400.
“She handled the dirt just fine,” said Specht. “You never really know until you put them on it. Galloping versus running isn’t the same thing and she seemed to handle it fine…I got a little worried when they got into the lane. I didn’t want that outside horse to drop in on me. She got back up in there (between horses) and managed to run them down late. She ran a good race, I was happy. Del Mar is probably going to be our only opportunity. There are a couple of nice Cal-bred stakes there and she will be in them.”
Ridden by Tiago Pereira from the rail, Becky’s Dream was pressed throughout and proved second best, finishing 5 ¼ lengths in front of the favorite, returning $3.80 to place.
Crazy Hot, who may’ve been comprised by delay caused by the late scratch of longshot Motet, appeared to be in a perfect stalking position under Geovanni Franco turning for home, but had little to offer the final eighth of a mile.
Motet, who was 30-1 at the time of the scratch, tried to sit down in the gate with jockey Kyle Frey, resulting in Frey being injured and taken off the track by stretcher.
According to track Security, Frey was complaining of ankle pain and was taken to a local hospital for precautionary x-rays.
Fractions on the race, which was reduced to a field of four juvenile fillies, were 22.31 and 45.55.