A rank outsider before the race, Handsome Mike (3c Scat Daddy x Classic Strike, by Smart Strike) returned triumphant after dismissing a smart field to win the $1million Grade II Pennsylvania Derby.
Fourth at his two most recent runs in Grade I company, Handsome Mike soared to a new level in this 1 1/8th mile assignment .
Handsome Mike was always up in contention and after leading for home at the top of the stretch increased his margin to the wire to win by two lengths, his overall record now two wins and two placings from 10 starts with prizemoney of $756,780.
Handsome Mike previously raced for trainer Doug O’Neill, but his top assistant Leandro Mora was the conditioner this time while O’Neill concludes a 40-day suspension he began Aug. 19.
Raced by J.Paul Reddam, Handsome Mike is the first stakes-winner for Classic Strike, a half-sister by Smart Strike to stakes-winner From Away.
Handsome Mike is the eighth stakes-winner for outstanding young sire Scat Daddy.