Flower Alley grandson lands Shoemaker Mile

Top-class four-year-old Smooth Like Strait, whose dam Smooth As Usual was sired by Wilgerbosdrift’s successful sire Flower Alley, picked up his first G1 win when he landed Monday’s G1 Shoemaker Mile Stakes at Santa Anita.
In the process, the Midnite Lute colt earned an automatic berth into this year’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Sent off at 3-5, the bay colt broke alertly and took the early lead under his own steam. He hugged the rail while pressed by Restrainedvengeance (Hold Me Back) and Whisper Not (GB) (Poet=s Voice {GB}) and the top trio separated themselves from the rest of the field through fractions of :23.46 and :46.43. The favorite began inching clear approaching the quarter pole and quickly put the matter to rest with a powerful kick in upper stretch that saw him burst away from his rivals before sailing under the wire a geared-down 1 1/2-length winner.

Now a winner of seven of his 15 starts (the colt has earned over $930 000 in prize money), Smooth Like Strait has now won graded races at two (G3 G3 Cecil B. Demille Stakes), three (G2 Twilight Derby, G2 Mathis Brothers Mile, G3 La Jolla Handicap) and four (G1 Shoemaker Mile).

His G1 Travers Stakes winning sire Flower Alley (a son of outstanding broodmare sire Distorted Humor from the family of another leading broodmare sire in Lyphard) had previously made his mark as a broodmare sire through his maternal granddaughter Lucky Lilac (Orfevre). The latter was Japan’s Champion 2YO Filly of 2017, and won no fewer than four G1 races during her career.

Sire of recent G1 Woolavington 2000 runner up Princess Calla, Flower Alley has three lots on the upcoming CTS Farm Yearling Sale, and a single lot on the KZN Yearling Sale.