In a photo provided by Benoit Photo, Cheekaboo and jockey Mike Smith, right, overpower Stays in Vegas (Alex Solis), inside, Be Mine (Flavien Prat), left, to win the Grade II, $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes, Sunday, June 19, 2016 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, C
AP Photo
June 19, 2016

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Cheekaboo won the $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by a head in a three-way blanket finish Sunday at Santa Anita, where the temperature reached 103 degrees.

Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Cheekaboo ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.86 and paid $49.60, $16.60 and $8.80 at 23-1 odds.

Be Mine returned $4.80 and $3.40, while Stays in Vegas was another nose back in third and paid $3.60 to show as the 3-1 favorite.

Cheekaboo won the Grade 2 race that was the last of the spring meet before construction on a new turf course starts Monday.

''I don't know what it looked like, but it was fun as hell to ride,'' Smith said. ''I kind of feel like, `OK, now people can see I can ride a little bit.' I can do more than just hang on to Songbird (with whom he won Saturday's Grade 2 Summertime Oaks by 6 1/2 lengths).''

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Cheekaboo's career earnings to $279,680. It was her first stakes victory and third win in eight starts.

Cheekaboo's sire is the aptly named Unusual Heat.

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