Horse Racing

Get Smokin Fires Off 19-1 Upset in Kentucky Turf Cup

Crazy is as crazy does.

While a glance at the past performances for the Sept. 9 $1.7 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G2T) may have suggested a farfetched target for 19-1 shot Get Smokin , co-owner Harlan Malter was convinced this was the perfect spot for his gutsy front-running gelding.

After the 6-year-old son of Get Stormy crossed the finish in a dazzling gate-to-wire performance, it was only the bettors that looked like the crazy ones.

“(Get Smokin is) an absolute dream to own. He just lays it out for you every single time,” Malter, the managing partner of Ironhorse Racing Stable, said after the Turf Cup. “I think he was just screaming for the humans to come up with a plan for him. We made a plan. I said I wanted to run in this race, and (trainer) Mark (Casse) said to me, ‘You’re one of my crazier owners. This idea, I don’t think is that crazy.’ So I’m glad I have a trainer who is willing to listen to some of my crazy ideas.”

Get Smokin had never won a stakes race or never traveled beyond 1 1/16 miles before entering the starting gate for the ‘Win and You’re In’ 1 1/2 mile Turf Cup. None of that mattered to the gelding, who rocketed to the lead and paved the way through early fractions of :24, :49.61, and 1:14.18. Cruising loose on a two-length advantage into the far turn, he stepped into overdrive on the uphill climb to the wire, digging in for 1 3/4 length tally.

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Guided by regular pilot Fernando De La Cruz, Get Smokin ($41.14) hit the finish line in 2:28.66 over a firm turf course.

Spooky Channel  got up for second over Santin , who had chased Get Smokin for most of the journey, in third.

“Going to the lead, that was the strategy,” Casse said. “That’s the way he runs. We felt we would establish a big lead and hope that everyone else would think he could not go that far. Guess what? He did.”

Perhaps a trip to the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T) wouldn’t seem like such a crazy idea after all.

Owned in partnership by Ironhorse Racing Stable, BlackRidge Stables, T-N-T Equine Holdings, and Saratoga Seven Racing Partners, Get Smokin was bred in Kentucky by Hurstland Farm and James Greene Jr. Hurstland later sold the chestnut as a yearling to Mary Sullivan for $11,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale.

He is the first stakes winner produced from the Smoke Glacken mare Hookah Lady, the dam of three winners from four foals to race.

Get Smokin’s sire, the multiple grade 1 winner Get Stormy, died in 2022 at the age of 16. He was the sire of grade 1 winner Got Stormy, who was trained by Casse.

Video: FanDuel Kentucky Turf Cup S. (G2T)


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