News and STORIES

Get Smokin Beats Decorated Invader in Hill Prince

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Monday October 19, 2020
The Tom Bush-trained Get Smokin has been running against some of the top three-year-old turfers. The gelding has just one win in his first nine starts, but he has placed five times.

“I’ve been throwing him to the wolves,” Bush said. 

Bush has confidence in the three-year-old and his ability to keep returning to the track and giving a top effort.

"He's one of those rare horses like the ones you'll see overseas where they'll run way out of their conditions or run in the Guineas and they don't get discouraged," Bush said. "They just keep coming back and giving you a top effort. That's the kind of horse he is. You're not going to break his spirit. You would with a lot of horses considering what I did to him.”

Last Two Starts

Get Smokin demonstrated that ability in his last two starts, which were an eighth-place finish in the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes on Oct. 18 and a runner-up effort in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2T). 

He also scored a gate-to-wire victory in the $150,000 Hill Prince Stakes (G2T) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park, where he won by a head over the heavily covered Decorated Invader. The race was delayed for six days due to the rain.

The Get Stormy gelding is owned by the Mary Abeel Sullivan Revocable Trust. He was purchased for $11,000 by Taproot Bloodstock, agent, from the Hurstland Farm consignment at The October Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s fall yearling sale in Lexington in 2018.

"He ran against some very good three-year-olds early in the year, and he's running against them now, so he fits in this group," Bush said. "We're tickled to death."

Bush also trained Get Stormy, who is a multiple Grade 1 winner for Mary Abeel Sullivan. He won 11 of 31 starts between 2008-12. 

"Get Smokin is a little bit high octane, especially for a gelding. He's very kind in the stall, but aggressive in his training. Get Stormy was very, very aggressive himself. So that similarity between them is there," Bush said.

Bush impressed again at the most-recent Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he purchased Get Smokin’s full sister for another owner. She is out of the Smoke Glacken mare Hookah Lady and was bought through Taproot Bloodstock for $60,000 from the Hurstland Farm consignment. 

"It wasn't $11,000, but it was a good buy," Bush said.

Decorated Invader

The victory was also Get Smokin’s third time he went up against Decorated Invader, and it was his first win over the Declaration of War colt. 

He took second to Decorated Invader in the Hall of Fame Stakes and third behind the colt in the Cutler Bay Stakes. Both of the runners failed to place in the Saratoga Deby, but Decorated Invader finished ahead in fifth in the 1 3/16-mile event.

The cutback to the mile for the Hill Prince suited both runners well. However, Get Smokin was able to sneak to the front of the pack and take just his second win in ten career starts.

Jockey Javier Castellano held Get Smokin in front at each pole and fractions of :24.25, :49.52, and 1:13.05. At the eighth pole, he moved to a two-length lead. 

Decorated Invader, who was the 2-5 favorite, had trouble finding his stride under jockey Joel Rosario. He eventually moved outside the stretch and began to move up in the final furlong.

"He was coming on strongly. It looked like there was no way we could hang on," Bush said.

Castellano was able to hold on and push Get Smokin over the wire, finishing the mile in 1:36.95 over yielding turf.

Decorated Invader suffered his second straight loss after beginning 2020 with three consecutive victories for trainer Christophe Clement. The colt is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, William Freeman, William Sandbrook, and Cheryl Manning.