MIKE SMITH, ALPHIE’S BET, Winner: “I basically just had to find him a place to go when it was time. He’s still a big, young boy and still has a lot of play in him. He hasn’t really gotten serious about it yet. He’s figuring it out race by race and I think down the road they might have a really nice colt. I would have preferred to be a little closer, but it may have been a good thing to keep a target. He’s certainly a horse with talent and he’s only going to get better.”
NOTES: Johnson also owns the Barba-trained Make Music For Me, who will run in the $175,000 American Turf on April 30 at Churchill Downs if he does not make the Kentucky Derby field. Through April 21, Make Music For Me ranked 25th among Derby hopefuls in terms of graded stakes earnings. The Derby field is limited to 20 starters….The best previous finish for Smith in the Snow Chief was a second with Don’tsellmeshort in 2004….Barba was en route to Kentucky, so Patty Johnson saddled Alphie’s Bet in her absence….Compari, the winner of the 2009 Snow Chief, is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap as he seeks his seventh win in a row on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
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