08/05/2009 11:00PM

Mixed Up captures Smithwick


Mixed Up captures Smithwick

By David Grening

Mixed Up, who won the A.P. Smithwick in 2007 but missed the race last year because of an ankle injury, wore down the pacesetting Preemptive Strike in the final strides to win Thursday's Grade 1, $102,723 A.P. Smithwick by a half-length. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Planets Aligned.

Mixed Up joined Hirapour as the only 10-year-olds to win this race. Hirapour won it when it was a Grade 2.

Under Danielle Hodsdon, Mixed Up saved ground for most of the race before tipping out wide in the stretch. Fourth approaching the ninth and final fence, Mixed Up cleared it perfectly and was able to wear down the longshot front-runner. Mixed Up, owned by William Pape and trained by Jonathan Sheppard, covered the 2 1/16 miles in 3:50.19 and returned $7.40.

"He's a game little horse. He's very brave, feisty, bouncy and he tries hard," said Sheppard, who won this race for a fourth time.

Sheppard added this Grade 1 steeplechase win to his Grade 1 turf win last Saturday with Forever Together in the Diana. He plans to run Informed Decision in the Grade 1 Ballerina on dirt on Aug. 29.

Hodsdon became the first jockey in 12 years to win a steeplechase race and a flat race in the same Saratoga season. Blythe Miller did it in 1997.

* Taking advantage of hotly contested duel between 2-5 favorite Driven by Success and 15-1 longshot Dr. W, Law Enforcement stormed down the center of the track under Kent Desormeaux to win the $72,050 John Morrissey Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Driven by Success. It was 2 1/4 lengths back to Ferocious Fires in third.

Driven by Success and Dr. W went at it through a half-mile in 43.87 seconds while Desormeaux had Law Enforcement well behind. He launched a wide and sustained bid from the turn through the stretch to get up. Law Enforcement, owned by Camelia Casby and trained by Mark Hennig, covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.76 and returned $16.20.

"It's taken a long time to find somebody that really understands that his horse wants to be left alone," Hennig said. "He gets frustrated if a guy gets to nibbling on him too early and he doesn't put in a run. Kent's being patient, lets him drop back and he loves it."