Smart Strike -- Striking Fast and Early

With runners like Curlin (TrueNicks,SRO), English Channel (TrueNicks,SRO) , and Labatt Woodbine Oaks winners Eye of the Sphinx and Gold Strike, Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO) is generally considered a horse whose runners do their best work when given some time, and often over middle-distance.

That consensus, however, overlooks another side to his character, so to speak -- something we were reminded of by events of the last two weekends. His son Fabulous Strike is a truly superior sprinter, and he underlined that fact again in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) running down the courageous Go Go Shoot to score by a length while running six furlongs in 1:08.69. Out of a mare by that "sneaky good" broodmare sire Lost Code, Fabulous Strike is TrueNicks-rated B+. Smart Strike has also actually sired a sprint champion (Soaring Free, rated A), earning that honor in Canada, where he took the Nearctic Handicap (gr. IIT). During his Canadian Horse of the Year campaign one year later, he stretched out to capture the Atto Mile (gr. I).

Smart Strike has sired Canadian champion juvenile Added Edge (A++) and last year's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) winner Square Eddie (A+), but he's certainly not noted for his early 2-year-olds. However, this year he is sire of Zanzibari, a colt who took last week's Prix de Cabourg (Fr-III) over six furlongs at Deauville, and Lookin at Lucky, who won this weekend's Best Pal Stakes (gr. II). Both are out of mares by sons of Danzig, Zanzibari from a daughter of Zieten, and Lookin at Lucky out of a mare by Belong to Me. Zanzibari is rated A+ by TrueNicks on the basis of the broad Smart Strike/Danzig cross, and Lookin At Lucky is rated A++ on the specific Smart Strike/Belong to Me cross that has already produced grade II winner Papa Clem and stakes winner Striking Tomisue. Of course this was one nick that was rather predictable, Danzig having sired champion Dance Smartly out of the dam of Smart Strike.

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