Jockey Mike Smith won his record 24th Breeders' Cup race Saturday as he piloted 8-1 Finest City to a three-quarter length victory in the Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita. It was Smith's second win at this World Championships. Last year's Filly & Mare Sprint winner, Wavell Avenue, took second while Paulassilverlining finished third. The final time was 1:22.37 for the seven furlongs.
The field stayed tightly bunched down the backstretch with Gloryzapper making the lead but Finest City not far behind her. Turning for home, Smith asked the daughter of City Zip to make her run and she responded by pulling away and leaving little doubt she could be caught. Wavell Avenue ran on well but couldn't catch the winner.
Bred in Pennsylvania by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing LLC, 4-year-old Finest City is owned by Seltzer Thoroughbreds and trained by Ian Kruljac. A daughter of Be Envied out of Lemon Drop Kid, Finest City was purchased by Seltzer for $85,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
The victory was her fourth in 14 career starts and her first Grade 1 win. In addition to being Kruljac's initial G1 victory, it was also the only win of the year for the trainer from 12 starts.
“She was really going into this race great, (Ian) did a great job of getting her ready,” said Smith. “She was well within in herself.”
Watch the race replay here:
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