Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith flew in and flew past competition to sweep to victory in both the $100,000 J J’s Dream Stakes and the $100,000 Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course Saturday.
Under Smith, the filly Sweetmarys Success, who is owned and trained by Wesley A. Ward, and the colt Yes I’m Lucky, who is owned by Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa and is trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., earned their first career stakes victories in front-running style while both breaking from post two.
“Wesley had been talking about this filly about the same time that I told Eddie I might be down here, and he said if I'm here, then he'd put me on this colt; that just sealed the deal,” Smith said regarding flying in to ride.
In the 5 ½-furlong J J’s Dream for 2-year-old fillies, Sweetmarys Success was quickly straightened out by Smith after breaking awkwardly out of the gate and took the lead shortly thereafter from challengers Her Royalship and One More Wild Ride while Liberty Fuze dropped back. Sweetmarys Success gained a clearer lead down the stretch and scored by 1 ½-lengths to the closing In Luv With Willie.
“She was a little anxious moment in the gate with her the second time out; she had what we call second race jitters,” Smith said. “Just really tight in there. She got away bad, but she’s just really talented.”
When Sweetmarys Success broke her maiden in a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on May 1, the filly broke outwardly before taking the rail and holding off her challengers into the turn and increasing her lead to score by 3 lengths.
As the post-time favorite for the J J’s Dream, Sweetmarys Success paid $3.20, $2.80, and $2.10 for the win. In Luv With Willie paid $11.20 and $4.20 for the place, and One More Wild Ride paid $3.80 for show.
Completing the order of finish were Liberty Fuze, Her Royalship, Maura’s Purse, Scandalous Act, Follow My Luck, and Proverbs Thirtyone.
With her stakes victory, Sweetmarys Success now has $81,720 in earnings in her 2-for-2 career.
Smith returned to the Calder winner’s circle shortly after the J J’s Dream, rocketing easily to victory aboard Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Yes I’m Lucky in the 5 ½-furlong Frank Gomez Memorial for 2-year-olds.
Yes I’m Lucky broke fifth out of the gate to Brothersofthetime, but Smith quickly took the lead with Yes I’m Lucky and control of the race. Breitling Flyer raced just off of Yes I’m Lucky while Smith cruised along. When asked by Smith, Yes I’m Lucky opened up down the stretch to guarantee his victory by 4 lengths.
He hit splits of :22.10, :46.15, and :59.34, with a final time of 1:06.35.
“Eddie told me that Paco (Lopez) who had ridden him last time said to get a little aggressive with him early because he can tend to be on the lazy side; he's a big strong colt and they were great instructions because that's what I did and it worked - so thanks, Paco for relaying the message!"
Yes I’m Lucky broke his maiden at Monmouth Park in his first try in a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on June 2 upon racing in third before battling down the stretch with the frontrunner to earn his first career victory by a head.
The colt went off as the post-time favorite in the Frank Gomez Memorial and returned $6.00, $3.60, and $3.00 for first. Brothersofthetime brought $4.80 and $4.80 for second, while Casiguapo paid $13.20 for third.
Rounding out the order of finish were Best Plan Yet, Breitling Flyer, D N A Approved, Union Cash, Purchango, Vinny’s Wildcat, Copa Del Rey, and Right On Course.
With the stakes win, Yes I’m Lucky is now 2-for-2 in his career with earnings of $57,000.
Earlier in the day, Smith finished second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race on the turf aboard St. George Stable LLC’s Fantasmagorico, who is also trained by Wesley A. Ward. The pair led the way throughout the race before giving way near the wire.