HALLANDALE, Fla. -- Florida-bred Smooth Air rallied to edge Silver Edition by a length Saturday in the $150,000, Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Smooth Air, ridden by Manoel Cruz, ran 7 furlongs in 1:23 4-5 and paid $20.60, $9.40 and $5.40. Silver Edition returned $12.20 and $6.20, and Halo Najib paid $2.80 to show.
The Hutcheson was the first in Gulfstream's schedule of races for 3-year-olds leading to the $1 million Florida Derby on March 29.
Smooth Air, trained by Bennie Stutts Jr., had run well in each of his previous four starts at Calder Race Course, winning twice with a second and a third.
"I've been training for 40 years, and this is the biggest race I've ever won," Stutts said. "It's a Grade 2, right? I'm coming up in the world."
It was a two-horse race from the eighth pole to the wire. Smooth Air caught Silver Edition inside the 16th and edged away in the final yards.
Stutts said he might ship Smooth Air to run in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita on Jan. 26.
"That's a lot of money," Stutts said.
In other results, Noonmark rallied on the rail through the stretch to win the $100,000, Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap by 2 lengths. The son of Unbridled's Song, ridden by Rene Douglas, ran 6 furlongs in 1:09 3-5 and paid $12.60, $5.60 and $3.60.