Bay Area’s Smiling Tiger Wins At Oaklawn; Swiss Ski Extends Winning Streak At GGF

Bay Area’s Smiling Tiger Wins At Oaklawn; Swiss Ski Extends Winning Streak At GGF

     Smiling Tiger, trained by Jeff Bonde of Pleasanton and owned in partnership by Phil Lebherz of Portola Valley and Alan Klein of Burlingame, rallied strongly down the stretch to win the Grade 3 $200,000 Count Fleet Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths Thursday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

     Smiling Tiger, who broke a step slow, came from last in a field of six to earn his second straight stakes victory and his seventh win in 14 lifetime starts.  Smiling Tiger also overcame a slow start to win the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 19.

     Ridden by Joel Rosario, Smiling Tiger won the six-furlong Count Fleet in 1:08.63 and paid $3.20 as the heavy 3-to-5 favorite.  Silver Magnus, at odds of 31-to-1, took second by a neck over Chief of Affairs.

     The Count Fleet is the sixth career stakes victory for Smiling Tiger, a two-time Grade 1 winner.  Smiling Tiger recorded his first stakes victory as a 2-year-old at Golden Gate Fields when he captured the Lost in the Fog Stakes on June 13, 2009.

     Smiling Tiger earned $120,000 for winning the Count Fleet and the payday boosted his bankroll to $995,864.
     
     At Golden Gate Fields Thursday, the 7-year-old gelding Swiss Ski recorded his fourth straight victory when he rambled to a 3 1/4-length score in a six-furlong sprint for $10,000 claimers.  Swiss Ski was timed in 1:10.20 and paid $4.80 as the 7-to-5 favorite.

      Swiss Ski has won five of his last six starts while climbing up the class ladder.  Claimed Thursday by trainer Rene Amescua, Swiss Ski has been claimed in three straight races.