Isn’t He Clever
, the lone stakes winner in the field of six
3-year-olds set to contest the Grade 3 $100,000 Jersey Shores Stakes at six
furlongs on the main track, figures to find the competition a little more to
his liking on Saturday.
In his last three starts, the gelded son of Smarty Jones
finished second to Daddy Nose Best in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, eighth behind
probable Haskell Invitational starter and Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes
runner-up Bodemeister in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, and seventh behind
Trinniberg in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens.
“This is a good spot for him,” said Mitch Dennison, the
assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. “He just came over from our division at
Belmont (Park) and he’s settled in comfortably in the barn.”
Asmussen, who sent a dozen horses here in the last week and
will ship another 13 from Churchill Downs in the coming days, took over the
training of Isn’t He Clever prior to his run in the Woody Stephens so this will
be just his second start out of the barn. While under the tutelage of Henry
Dominguez, the Triple Crown nominee captured the $150,000 Borderland Derby
Stakes at Sunland
Park in February and won
the $100,000 Riley Allison Futurity there last year.
With four wins and two seconds from nine starts for $396,892
in earnings, he is the most seasoned and the richest runner in the field.
Cape Cod Canal has only made two starts and brought home
checks for $32,000, but the Patricia Generazio homebred impressed in both races
at six furlongs over the Monmouth strip. His first try was very game effort in
a maiden special weight on June 2 when he set the pace through the first three
points of call, was passed and then fought back to lose by a head. Three weeks
later, the Florida-bred son of Wildcat Heir out of Your Place Anytime drew off
to score by an easy eight-and a-half-lengths.
“He’s an improving horse,” said Jane Cibelli, who is
currently atop the trainer standings as she defends her title. “Mr. Generazio
owns the mare and it’s a graded stakes, so we supplemented to the field.
There’s no one other than (allowance race) coming up for him, so we’re going
from a maiden win to a stakes. Obviously, the one we need to worry about is
Steve Asmussen’s horse.”
Suffolk Downs invader Scaramagna, Rass Stone, Well Spelled
and Wildcat Creek complete the field.