Smooth Jazz remains undefeated with CASS score
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Sophomore fillies, on both gaits, were featured at Cal-Expo in $15,000 Sire Stakes Friday night, with Smooth Jazz remaining undefeated while My Fanny showed her durability.
On the trotting side, the 1-9 heavily favored Smooth Jazz and trainer Tim Maier would half float out at the back from post six in the field of a half-dozen. With Maier keeping his talented filly off the pylons at the back, he\'d notice something from the horse in front of him.
\"I was watching Sad Parting (Gilbert Herrera) and she looked a little bumpy,\" said Maier. \"I eased out to go by her and my horse leaned in a little bit and Sad Parting leaned out and we kissed (hooked) wheels for a while and it concerned me because with young filly trotters, Gilbert and I had to wait until we straightened out so no one would break.\"
Getting tangled up with Sad Parting from just before the quarter-mile pole, timed in :29.2, until unhooking at the 5-16ths mile pole, Smooth Jazz, while racing uncovered, would find herself fourth by 4-1/2 lengths at the half-mile station, timed in 1:00.2.
Now gaining with momentum at the five-eighths mile marker, and into a stronger gear at the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:31.1, Maier, as you\'d think, was expecting the best from his prize filly.
\"She felt strong and I was just waiting to set her down for the drive. I felt confident that\'s she\'d trot home.\"
Quickly taking over the lead late in the final-turn, Smooth Jazz would open up the lead with every stride in the lane as she\'d pour it on while winning ($2.10) by 13 lengths, in 2:01.2, while just under brief mild late urging. Bred in part and owned by Denise Maier, Smooth Jazz would remain unbeaten in nine career starts, of which the most recent three have been this year. Sad Parting finished in second, and She\'s A Rowdy One (Lou Pena) finished another 3-1/4-lengths farther back, in third.
\"She was amazing again and we managed to dodge that early bullet. We continue to be happy to have her,\" finished a proud Maier.
On the pacing side, driver Luke Plano thought a change in strategy was in order for My Fanny.
\"There were a few horses inside that I thought could leave and I didn\'t want to get in the middle of that if I didn\'t have to -- so I ducked her,\" said Plano.
Coming away in sixth position in the field of seven into a :28.1 first-quarter, and remaining unhurried at the half-mile marker, timed in :57.2, Plano knew the time to go was soon.
\"I was feeling the pace slowing down past the half, and was ready to move.\"
On the move at the 9-16ths mile pole with two-lengths to catching cover, My Fanny would quickly catch up to her cover while now racing second-over just past the five-eighths mile pole.
Now less then three-lengths from the lead at the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:27.1, Plano would soon step on the pedal.
\"My horse felt very strong and I thought my chances were good, plus I felt that Wooski (Rich Wojcio) and Late Bloomer (Ed Hensley), who were in front of me, had been used a little bit. My main concern was Cat Burgler (Etienne Desomer) -- who was on my helmet at that point.\"
Moving three-wide late in the final turn and in full gear, My Fanny would roll into the lead in mid-stretch and there was no catching her.
\"I asked her when I tipped off Late Bloomer and she responded nicely and took off like a jet. She was strong all the way down the lane and had something left at the wire.\"
Bred, owned, and named by Maryann Plano, and trained by her husband, Rick, My Fanny would go on to win ($2.80) by 2-1/4-lengths, in 1:56, a lifetime best. Cat Burgler finished in second, and Wooski, who cut a good deal of the mile, finished another 3-1/4-lengths back, in third.
\"She raced very well off the back and I\'m very happy with her,\" Plano concluded. (Cal-Expo)