01/27/2014 12:02PM

Smart Strike reaches 100 stakes winners


Perennial leading sire Smart Strike reached a noteworthy milestone on Jan. 25, as his daughter Cloud Scapes prevailed in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs for the stallion’s 100th career stakes winner. The 22-year-old Mr. Prospector horse stands at Lane’s End near Versailles, Ky.

Under Erick Rodriguez, Cloud Scapes tracked pacesetter Wholelottashakin, took over in upper stretch, and held on to win by a neck, finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.75 on turf rated firm.

It was the first stakes victory in her first attempt at that level for Cloud Scapes, who has now captured three of eight starts for earnings of $172,907. The 5-year-old, out of the winning Storm Cat mare Every Cloud, runs as a homebred for Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stud and is trained by Graham Motion.

Smart Strike led the North American general sires list in both 2007 and 2008, and has been among the top 10 four other times. Through Jan. 26, he is the sire of 709 winners from 947 runners – a 75 percent rate – for total progeny earnings of $108,212,321, averaging $114,269 per starter. Of his 100 stakes winners, 53 are graded/group winners; he has an additional 92 stakes-placed runners.

Highlighting Smart Strike’s runners is 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin, who captured nine graded stakes events, including the 2007 Preakness Stakes, 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic, 2008 Dubai World Cup, and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He retired with earnings of $10,501,800, making him the all-time leading North American moneywinner.

Smart Strike is also the sire of turf champion English Channel, who earned more than $5.3 million. His major victories included the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf and two editions each of the United Nations Stakes and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational.

Both Curlin and English Channel currently stand alongside their sire at Lane’s End, with Curlin producing last year’s Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice from his first crop.

Smart Strike’s other outstanding runners include two-time champion Lookin At Lucky, winner of the 2010 Preakness; 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and champion My Miss Aurelia; Canadian Horse of the Year honorees Soaring Free and Never Retreat; additional Canadian champions Eye of the Sphynx, Portcullis, Gold Strike, and Added Edge; Grade 1-winning sprinter Fabulous Strike; and Fleetstreet Dancer, winner of the Japan Cup Dirt.

During his own racing career, Smart Strike raced as a homebred for Sam-Son Farm of Ontario and won six of eight career starts. His biggest victory came in the Grade 1 Philip H. Iselin Stakes in 1996 at Monmouth Park, defeating a field that included champion Serena’s Song.

Out of Canadian champion Classy ‘n Smart, by Smarten, Smart Strike is a full brother to Grade 1 winner Full of Wonder and Grade 2 winner Strike Smartly. He is also a half-brother to Canadian Triple Crown winner and dual Hall of Fame racemare Dance Smartly, who went on to become a prominent producer. Classy ‘n Smart is a half-sister to U.S. and Canadian champion Sky Classic, Canadian champions Regal Classic, and Grey Classic, and Grade 1 winner Always a Classic.