02/01/2012 3:57PM

Santa Anita: Isn't He Clever steps up to Lewis Stakes after romp

Lisa Dominguez/Coady Photography
Isn't He Clever wins the $104,200 Riley Allison Futurity by 11 3/4 lengths at Sunland Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Isn’t He Clever ran himself out of New Mexico.

When the colt won the $104,200 Riley Allison Futurity over 6 1/2 furlongs by 11 3/4 lengths at Sunland Park on Dec. 30, owners Kirk and Judy Robison and trainer Henry Dominguez decided to try for a loftier goal – Saturday’s $200,000 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Grade 2 Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles will be Isn’t He Clever’s first start around two turns and provide a stern test for a gelding who has won 3 of 4 starts.

“He beat that bunch [in New Mexico] so easily, they are willing to try him out,” said Caesar Dominguez, Henry’s brother.

Isn’t He Clever, by Smarty Jones, arrived at Santa Anita earlier this week and is based at Caesar Dominguez’s barn. The gelding began his career at Zia Park in New Mexico, winning a maiden race and an allowance race in the fall before finishing second in the seven-furlong Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park on Nov. 11.

Corey Nakatani will have the mount on Isn’t He Clever, who is likely to set the pace in the Lewis Stakes.

“Whether he can go that far, we don’t know,” Caesar Dominguez said.

Isn’t He Clever drew the rail in a field of eight, which is led by Liaison and Rousing Sermon, the first two finishers of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 17.

There are three other runners from the CashCall in the Lewis – Sky Kingdom and Empire Way, who were fourth and fifth, and Groovin’ Solo, who was eased because of a broken bridle, according to Maria Ayala, assistant trainer to Myung Kwon Cho.

Groovin’ Solo returned to win a maiden race over a mile at Santa Anita on Dec. 30.

Ayala has sensed improvement in Groovin’ Solo in recent weeks.

“He won very nicely,” Ayala said of the maiden race win. “I like him. Every work, he does better and better.”

A year ago, Cho had two formidable 3-year-olds in Premier Pegasus, winner of the 2011 San Felipe Stakes, and Riveting Reason, runner-up in the 2011 Robert Lewis Stakes. They have been turned out, Ayala said, leaving Groovin’ Solo as the stable’s leading male.

Robert B. Lewis S. (G2), Post Time: 3:05 PT Saturday

Purse: $200,000; 1 1/16 miles





ML Odds


Isn't He Clever

H. Dominguez

C. Nakatani




B. Baffert

R. Bejarano



Groovin' Solo

M. Cho

V. Espinoza



I'll Have Another

D. O'Neill

M. Gutierrez



Sky Kingdom

B. Baffert

M. Garcia



Rousing Sermon

J. Hollendorfer

J. Talamo



Empire Way

M. Harrington

J. Rosario



Chips All In

J. Mullins

A. Quinonez