10/30/2015 7:26PM

Smokey Image wins Golden State Juvenile

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Benoit & Associates
Smokey Image and jockey Juan Hernandez win the Golden State Juvenile by three-quarters of a length Friday.

Smokey Image deserves his unbeaten record after five starts.

In Friday’s $200,500 Golden State Juvenile for California-breds at Del Mar, Smokey Image overcame a troubled trip on the turn to win the seven-furlong race by three-quarters of a length over Found Money. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Smokey Image ($3) was timed in 1:22.94.

The race could easily have ended in a loss for Smokey Image. Racing on the inside on the backstretch, Smokey Image was steadied on the turn behind a rival and trailed leader Found Money by more than three lengths with a quarter-mile to go.

In the stretch, Hernandez got a quick response from Smokey Image, who was within 1 1/2 lengths of the lead at the eighth pole. Smokey Image rallied between horses to take the lead in the final sixteenth.

Found Money, the winner of the Santa Anita Juvenile in June, finished second, followed by Family Code, Swiss Minister, Record Highs, Mana Strike, Bully Pulpit, Defiant One, Gio Mio, and Scatastic.

The Golden State Juvenile was the longest race of Smokey Image’s career.

Owned by Robert and Betty Irvin, Smokey Image has won four stakes and earned $297,600. He won the Everett Nevin Stakes at Pleasanton in July, the Cavonnier Juvenile at Santa Rosa, and the I’m Smokin Stakes for California-breds at Del Mar in September.

Trainer Greg James said Smokey Image will be pointed for the King Glorious Stakes at a mile at Los Alamitos, which is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12. The colt, by Southern Image, was bred by the Irvins.