Continental Divide, Smokem Renew Rivalry in I'm Smokin Stakes
Continental Divide © Benoit Photo
Promising two-year-old colts Continental Divide and Smokem will renew their burgeoning rivalry Friday when they tangle for the third time as part of a nine-horse field of California-bred youngsters in the featured $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes at six furlongs.
Smokem, a son of Union Rags trained by Gary Sherlock, was an upset winner of a maiden race July 21 in which Continental Divide was runner-up, beaten two and one-quarter lengths. However, Continental Divide, a son of Animal Kingdom from the barn of trainer Jim Cassidy, came back in the Graduation Stakes August 6 to defeat his rival by three-quarters of a length.
Apprentice Evin Roman again as the call on Smokem, with regular rider Victor Espinoza piloting Continental Divide.
Also coming out of the Graduation Stakes are Drizzy, third, who will have Joe Talamo in the boot; Cono, fourth, to be ridden by Rafael Bejarano; Get Em Up Scout, sixth, with Bryan Pena to ride Friday, and Bookies Luck, eighth, and Kent Desormeaux named in the I’m Smokin.
Completing the line-up are Sir Valentine, a maiden winner who was fifth in the Santa Anita Juvenile, with Martin Pedroza named; Ministersdontparty, a debut winner Aug. 18, with Chantal Sutherland, and Unpossible, who scored at Santa Rosa Aug. 5, with Catalino Martinez named to ride.
Post time for the first race Friday is 3:30 p.m.