STORM THE COURT broke on top and went to the lead to set fractions of :23.02 and :46.49 with Johnny Velazquez in the irons. At the half-mile pole, SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT had closed the margin to half a length and stalked closely as they approached the quarter pole. Ith a little pressure, he gained command at the top of the stretch and held on for the in over STORM THE COURT. The final time was 1:33.51. WHISPER NOT rallied to take third.
The Mathis Brothers Mile (G2T) is the second turf race where the pair have finished 1-2. THey last met in the La Jolla Handicap (G3T) at Del Mar, but STORM THE COURT was the stalker in that race.
SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT is a Kentucky homebred for Cannon Thoroughbreds. He is by MIDNIGHT LUTE out of a FLOWER ALLEY mare. His record is 6-2-1 with earnings of $577,823. Though the owners have no immediate plans, they are considering the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1T) March 6th and the Shoemaker Mile (G1T) May 31st. Both races are run on the Santa Anita turf.