News and STORIES

Smooth Like Strait Leads Field at Santa Anita

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Wednesday March 03, 2021

The Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita is being lined up to be a classic race, and with $400,000 at stake, it's going to be one of the highlights of the meet at the track over this weekend. Leading the field, we have Smooth Like Strait, and they have been installed as the early favorite. But who else could be in with a shot over the mile?

The Form of Smooth Like Strait

Smooth Like Strait has won their last two races including the Mathis Brothers Mile back on December 26. The four-year-old colt, trained by Michael McCarthy, actually had a fantastic 2020 with four wins, two second places and a single fourth place in all his runs. That kind of form is something they will want to bring through into 2021, and the mile will prove to be the perfect distance.

However, it was his win in the Mathis that has stood out. Taking on a strong field, he won by 3/4 of a length while also managing to largely dominate the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Winner, Storm the Court. He's up against a stellar field of entrants in the Kilroe this Saturday, but he has shown the ability to deal with the pressure before, and this race should be no different.

Also, Smooth Like Strait has been the leading favorite seven times in his last eight races, and it seems that the pressure is not something that really gets too him.

Other Entrants to Look Out For

The field of 10 does have some interesting horses to look out for, but perhaps the main draw is Hit the Road, trained by Dan Blacker. Checking out their recent form, they won the Grade 3 Thunder Road Stakes last time out, and that was a continuation of a series of wins that took place throughout 2020. The only blip in their race form was a disappointing 14th place at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Race back in 2019, but they have grown in stature and confidence since then.

Other names that may be worth checking out in this race includes the likes of Flavius who was nudged out in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap. He does need the pace to be quite high in order to make an impact, so the conditions will need to be perfect for them in this race.

However, if you are looking for a potential upset, then cast your eyes toward Social Paranoia. They are unbeaten in three races over a turf mile, so this could be the perfect opportunity for them to raise their game and land a big win.

The Kilroe Mile is going to be a fascinating race to check out, and with only a field of 10 taking place it gives space for the entrants to all make their mark on the race. Exactly how it pans out will depend on the conditions on the day, but overall we do expect Smooth Like Strait to prove to be too strong for the rest of the field.