Updated on 09/16/2011 7:58AM

It's a Giggle cruises in Smithwick


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It's a Giggle continued his drive for an Eclipse Award by jumping smartly en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in Thursday's $79,950 at Saratoga.

It's a Giggle had an ideal trip under jockey Gus Brown, who took over for the recently injured Blythe Miller. It's a Giggle sat third during the early going of the 2 1/16-mile race, moved to challenge for the lead midway through the race, took over with authority with a half-mile to go, and safely held off Tres Touche for the victory. Indispensable was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third.

On a course rated firm, It's a Giggle was timed in 3:37.56. He is unbeaten in three starts over jumps this year, and is 9 for 15 lifetime over jumps.

It's a Giggle carried top weight of 158 pounds, was sent off as the 4-5 favorite, and paid $3.70 to the early arrivals at the track. The Smithwick was the day's first race.

Jonathan Sheppard, who trains It's a Giggle, thought the Smithwick was an ideal prep for It's a Giggle's next goal, the New York Turf Writers Handicap on Aug. 29.

"I'm happy. Hopefully there's a little left in the tank and this race wasn't too grueling," Sheppard said. "I'm sure he's going to pick up a little weight."

Sheppard noted that there were only two fences on the backstretch at Saratoga, as opposed to three from last year, when It's a Giggle won three races here. "That didn't seem to faze him," Sheppard said.

The only thing that seemed to faze Sheppard is that the silks of owner William Pape were not available, so Brown had to wear a garish, phosphorescent green set of silks from the National Steeplechase Association. "I'm concerned we'll jinx ourselves if we change for the next race," Sheppard said.