The $100K Seek Again Stakes was won by GET SMOKIN, ridden by Junior Alvarado, trained by Thomas Bush, owned by Mary Abeel Sullivan Revocable Trust — nursing his front running speed and proving uncatchable in the stretch.
GET SMOKIN was away the best for Junior Alvarado and secured the lead to set early fractions of 24.1 and 48.61. He was permitted an uncontested lead traveling through the backstretch, with FLAVIUS a length back in second, the others were racing in close order, about five or six lengths covering them front to back.
When they turned for home, FLAVIUS challenged for the lead, but GET SMOKIN responded with another gear. Junior Alvarado roused his horse for more run and GET SMOKIN accelerated nicely in the stretch, dueling with FLAVIUS before ultimately out finishing him to the wire. FLAVIUS finished three quarters of a length back in second, TELL YOUR DADDY made a good run to be third. The final time was 1:33.96.
"He's very quick," jockey Junior Alvarado said. "If anyone else wants the lead, they have to work very hard. He broke sharp today again, which makes my job easy. I just had to nurse him along. Turning for home, I knew I had plenty of horse left and he gave me that nice kick that he has.
"You can never get too excited until you cross the wire first, but I was very happy with the pace I was going with him," Alvarado added. "He was traveling comfortably enough that I knew he'd have a kick at the end."
GET SMOKIN was basically the lone speed of the race. Trainer Thomas Bush commented on the race scenario in connection to his horse's running style..
"He's dangerous on the front end, that's for sure," Bush said. "When they're loping along like that and they aren't using themselves too much, you're always happy to see that. I knew they'd be laying a little closer, too, since we were the only speed, but they couldn't get by him. It was a terrific effort." (Brian Bohl, Paulick Report)
GET SMOKIN paid $10.80 to win, $5.20 to place, and $4.00 to show. He is by GET STORMY out of HOOKAH LADY by SMOKE GLACKEN. He improves his overall record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds from 14 starts, with earnings exceeding $376,000.
This was quite a redemption win for GET SMOKIN after finishing a disappointing 8th last time out in the Maker's Mile Stakes (G1). With his win here, he remains a perfect 2-for-2 at Belmont Park and could potentially make his next start in next month's Poker Handicap (G2), where he'll get the same track, surface and distance he got today.
Source: Equibase, Brian Bohl, Paulick Report.