Grand Slam Smile Wins Golden State Juvenile Fillies on Breeders’ Cup Card

Grand Slam Smile Rolls to Victory in the $175,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies on Breeders’ Cup Day 1                              Benoit Photo

Courtesy of Santa Anita Park ARCADIA, CA (Nov. 3, 2023)—Based for decades at Golden Gate Fields, trainer Steve Specht and jockey Frank Alvarado teamed for an emotional 7 ¼ length score in Friday’s $175,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, as Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ homebred Grand Slam Smile steamed to a huge 7 ¼ length score, getting seven furlongs in 1:24.55.

The Golden State Juvenile Fillies is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.

Breaking from post position seven, Grand Slam Smile was in hand early as Recalcitrant and heavily favored Mirinda traded punches on the front end. Confidently handled by Alvarado, Grand Slam Smile engaged the top pair a half mile out and raced as a team with Mirinda to the quarter pole, with the winner gaining the advantage shortly thereafter in a huge effort.

Idle since recovering from a foot issue following a second place finish in Del Mar’s CTBA Stakes Aug. 6, Grand Slam Smile was the second choice among a field of 10 California-bred fillies at 5-2 and paid $7.80, $5.20 and $3.00.

By Smiling Tiger out of the Grand Slam mare Royal Grand Slam, Grand Slam Smile, who took the Fasig Tipton Debutante at Santa Anita in her second start on June 17, is now a two-time stakes winner with three wins from four starts. With today’s winner’s share of $99,750 she increased her earnings to $206,900.

Based at Los Alamitos, Petit Filet was off at 45-1 with Ricardo Ramirez and paid $26.80 and $8.00.

Finishing 1 ½ lengths back in third was 1-5 favorite Mirinda. Ridden by Mike Smith, she returned $2.20 to show while finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Prancingthruparis.

Fractions on the race were 21.91, 45.03, 1:10.79 and 1:24.55.