He’s A Smoothie

Thoroughbreds
Hall of Fame Inductee, 2003

Trainer Bob Bateman and jockey Hugo Dittfach with He's A Smoothie

Winner of the Canadian International Championship and Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1967, He’s A Smoothie was a gangly, slow developing unraced two-year-old who was given time to mature. In May of 1966 he broke his maiden on the dirt at Fort Erie, but trainer Warren Beasley was less than complimentary of his future champion. “He ran like a camel. He was climbing all the way.” Reminded of that quote 37 years later, Beasley laughed and said, “Well, he certainly smoothed out, didn’t he?”

Bred by Warren’s father, Bill Beasley, He’s A Smoothie was by grass champion Round Table, and was out of Ratine, the dam of Hidden Treasure, Canada’s 1961 Horse of the Year. Unlike his half-brother, He’s A Smoothie didn’t show promise until the summer of his 3-year-old season when he won the Prince Of Wales, Seagram Cup, Fairbanks, Mohawk and Valedictory Handicaps and was second in the Breeders’ Stakes and Quebec Derby. In 1967, now a mature, robust individual, he began the season with victories in the Canadian Maturity, Durham Cup, Eclipse and Seagram Cup Handicaps. He then earned international acclaim when he defeated foreign invaders in the Canadian International Championship, winning by a neck in a three-horse stretch duel. It would be 24 years before another Canadian-bred (Sky Classic) would win this event.

He's A Smoothie with Bill Beasley

Invited to the Washington International to represent Canada, and facing some of the outstanding turf stars of his generation, Smoothie matched strides with Damascus and Fort Marcy, giving them seven pounds each while losing by five lengths. A month later at Aqueduct he gave Quicken Tree nine pounds, losing by less than a length in the two-mile Display Handicap. At age five he spent the winter in Florida, competing in the major handicap races on the grass. Assigned high-weight he won the Hialeah Turf Cup, was second in the Palm Beach and third in the Bougainvillea. At Fort Erie that summer he set a turf course record for 1 1/16 miles. Earlier in his career he set track records on the dirt at Greenwood and Woodbine. During the induction ceremonies, Beasley acknowledged the influence of assistant trainer Bobby Bateman. “I was listed as the trainer but Bobby was really the trainer. His skills were so important.” The bay horse won 18 of 38 starts.