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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Smith Picks Up Mount on Midnight Transfer

3/31/2012

Mike Smith has picked up the mount on Midnight Transfer with Victor Espinoza's injury preventing him from riding in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.

Espinoza suffered a hairline fracture to his left hand last Friday.

Midnight Transfer finished third in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 10. Smith finished off the board on Blingo in that race, and Blingo isn't listed as a probable for the Santa Anita Derby.

Smith was aboard Midnight Transfer for the first time Friday morning when he worked the son of Hard Spun six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in a bullet 1:11.80 (1/15).

“It was my first time on him, and it was good to have that experience,” said the 46-year-old Smith. “Midnight Transfer has a nice quick, little turn of foot, and it was nice to feel it. Now I know how to gauge him a little.

“I thought he was brilliant. I probably hit the front with the company I was working with a bit too soon; he tends to wait a little, so I wish I’d have waited a little more. I’d have had more of a gallop out, but other than that, he went great. It’s better to have that experience now rather than in the race. I’m really happy with the work.”

Other Santa Anita Derby News

Mike Harrington plans to give Creative Cause a four-furlong blowout Tuesday at his Hollywood Park headquarters in the colt’s final major drill for the 1 1/8-mile race. The trainer said Creative Cause is right on schedule.

On Wednesday, Creative Cause worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 (2/9) at Hollywood.

“He’s fun to ride, and he’s doing really well right now," said Joel Rosario. "We’ve got a big race coming up, and we’ll see how he runs.”

At Hollywood Park on Saturday, Senor Rain worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for trainer Peter Miller.

--Edited Santa Anita release

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