05/22/2010 11:00PM

Gabriel's Smile finishes strong to even the score


Gabriel's Smile used a furious stretch rally to turn the tables on Green Suede Shoes in Saturday night's $51,000 It's Only Money Stakes for West Virginia-breds at Charles Town.

When this same stakes was contested last Sept. 12, Green Suede Shoes won by 2 1/2 lengths over runner-up Gabriel's Smile. In the rematch, Gabriel's Smile ($10.60), ridden for the first time by Luis Perez, was fourth heading into the stretch run of the 4 1/2-furlong sprint and made a six-wide move. Gabriel's Smile made up 3 1/2 lengths in the final furlong to edge even-money favorite Green Suede Shoes by a neck. The winning time over a sloppy and sealed track was 51.07 seconds.

The 4-year-old Gabriel's Smile has now won 7 of 13 starts. Trainer Raimondo Schiano-Dicola made a key equipment change for the race by removing the blinkers. Gabriel's Smile won five times without blinkers last season, including the Coin Collector Stakes.