Handsome Return to Form for Mike

Handsome Mike (4h Scat Daddy x Classic Strike, by Smart Strike) won the $1million Grade II Pennsylvania Derby last year at three and returned to top form at the weekend to take out the Grade III Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Handsome Mike has been contesting some tough Grade I events in recent runs and appreciated the drop back in grade and distance here. Handsome Mike always looked dangerous in the run and pulled away to win the seven furlong sprint by a length and a quarter, his overall record now three wins from 16 starts with prizemoney in excess of $880,000. “He has run some really tough races,” said assistant trainer Leandro Mora. “In the last race, he ran against Game On Dude, who is not an easy horse to beat. It looks like the distance is helping him.” 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 one of 11 stakes-winners for outstanding young sire Scat Daddy.