Even-money favorite Mr. Commons and Irish Art wrapped up an Artie Schiller exact in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort S. Dec. 26 on opening day of the Santa Anita Park winter meet. Second-crop sire Artie Schiller came into the day ranked eighth among all sophomore sires, with more than $2.7 million in progeny earnings. Mr. Commons is his leading money-maker in 2011.
Mr. Commons came into the $150,000 Sir Beaufort off a close fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) last month at Churchill Downs. As he normally does, Mr. Commons settled in the back half of the field in the one-mile turf contest. Still sixth with a quarter mile to go, the bay colt came between foes in mid-stretch, drawing off in the final furlong to win by 3 1/4-lengths in 1:33.84.
"Since I got through it was great,” said winning rider Mike Smith. “I've learned that you can point this horse at a wall and he'll run through it if I ask him to. He really does everything you tell him so normally when you're that big of a favorite you'll probably go around but I was going to be able to cut the corner and make up three lengths. All I need is a very small seam with him."
Runner-up Irish Art was closer up early, but had to go four wide into the stretch, then finished strongly to hold the place spot.
After the $90,000 Sir Beaufort payday, Mr. Commons has bankrolled $473,660 for Ian Banwell, who campaigns the colt in the nom de course St. George Farm Racing LLC. Banwell bred Mr. Commons in Kentucky from the Apalachee mare Joustabout, who won the Natalma S. and is the dam of three-time stakes winner Jungle Fighter.