Updated on 09/18/2011 12:38AM

Watchem Smokey best in Gulf Coast


Watchem Smokey, once one of the most feared young horses in the region, continued his return to prominence as an older performer with a convincing win in Saturday night's $75,000 Gulf Coast Classic Stakes at Evangeline Downs. Wild Notions finished second in the winter meeting's closing night feature followed by Gitgawatt and 8-5 favorite Silver Axe.

Ridden by Kerwin Clark, who also accounted for Friday night's $75,000 Goddess Stakes with Indigo Girl, Watchem Smokey ($8) stalked Wild Notions in the early going through some leisurely fractions before making his move when straightened for home. The 6-year-old Oklahoma bred son of Alphabet?s Soup drove steadily clear to prevail by two lengths in a time of 1:44.88 for the mild and a sixteenth, three ticks off the track record.

Trained by Brandon Marks, Watchem Smokey has now won ten of his 23 starts, including the $50,000 Delta Mile here last month. Saturday's payday of $45,000 increased his career earnings to just under $345,000 for owner Carrol Castille.