He’s Smokin Now won the $60,000 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths Wednesday at Canterbury Park, covering 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.34. Alonso Quinonez rode the winner for trainer Gerald Bennett and owner Winning Stables, Inc., who paid a $3,000 supplemental fee at the time of entry to be eligible for the race. The winner’s share of the $60,000 purse was $36,000. The 3-year-old colt last raced at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida on May 31 and had been training at Delaware Park before shipping to Shakopee, Minn. Friday.
“He broke so good I put him in a position where I can just wait or just go,” Quinonez said. He’s Smokin Now sat behind and outside of Lil’ Ninja and Tiztheboss before advancing coming out of the turn and taking control with a furlong to go.
“I knew we were going at a pretty good pace. If somebody wanted to make an early move they would have to go five wide so I was able to wait as much as I could. It worked out perfect.”
He’s Smokin Now paid $3.60 to win as the wagering favorite. Lil’ Ninja finished second and Valentine Guy was third in the seven-horse field.