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Preakness Stakes

Smokey Image wins California Cup Derby with new trainer

Smokey Image wins California Cup Derby with new trainer

Sitting at his home in Hurricane, Utah, trainer Greg James had his eyes locked on the television, watching a horse race some 390 miles away at Santa Anita.

His emotions were mixed, though heavily leaning toward happy. He was watching Smokey Image, who until a few months ago had been a fixture in his barn in Northern California, win the $250,000 California Cup Derby on Saturday.

"I was very happy for him," James said by phone. "He's a nice horse. He's been a nice horse since his first 5/8th [mile] workout."

Win doesn't quite capture the 3-year-old colt's performance. He blistered the field of seven by 8 1/2 lengths without ever being asked to run hard....

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