by The Thoroughbred Daily News
Smiling Tiger has come a long way since his discovery as a yearling at the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Sale, or indeed since throwing his jockey three times before his debut in a four-furlong maiden at Golden Gate Fields. He won by daylight that day, promptly added a stakes win before sharing the podium with champion Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike) at both the Grade II and Grade I level. With maturity he won three Grade I sprints–the Bing Crosby S., Ancient Title S. and Triple Bend H.. He was also beaten a nose in the GI Malibu S. and twice made the frame in the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint, besides winning four other graded stakes.
Smiling Tiger also landed running at stud, as California’s leading first-crop sire in 2017, and last year his 32 winners included five at the black-type level–a tally surpassed nationally, in his intake, only by the stellar Violence (Medaglia d’Oro). These were crowned, in the final days of the year, by a breakout Grade I winner in Spiced Perfection, who turned herself from a $6,500 yearling into a La Brea S. winner.
Smiling Tiger‘s dam Shandra Smiles (Cahill Road) produced another Grade I winner by a son of Storm Cat in She’s A Tiger (Tale Of The Cat), winner of the Del Mar Debutante and Eclipse champion despite her demotion in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies; and it’s a bottom line loaded with Florida speed, the second dam being by Ta Wee’s son Great Above (broodmare sire of Housebuster).
So there’s both class and dash on the page; while Smiling Tiger was as terrifically sound and hardy as he was fast. All in all, the kind of commercial package many a Kentucky farm would be proud to offer.