road to the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and subsequent Triple Crown
races begins Monday with the seventh running of the $150,000 Smarty
Jones Stakes, which drew a field of 10. In
its short history, the Smarty Jones, which carries 17 points towards
eligibility for the Kentucky Derby, has produced multiple Grade 1 winner
Flat Out, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Caleb’s Posse and the likely
2013 champion three-year-old Will Take Charge.
the 2014 class is John Oxley’s Coastline, who will be seeking to start
his 3-year-old campaign on a winning note after closing out 2013 as the
beaten favorite in the Delta Downs
Jackpot Stakes November 30. One race earlier, he had won his second
straight race in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill by three lengths.
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will be in from the Fair Grounds to ride.
Bret Calhoun has several promising 3-year-olds this winter, but has
decided that Terra De Sienna Stables’ Son of a Preacher will be his
representative in Monday’s one mile race.
The Pulpit colt won his career debut on Churchill’s main track
impressively, but then encountered a troubled trip when trying turf in
his second start. Most recently he finished second in an optional
claiming race at Fair Grounds.
race is so wide open,” said Calhoun. “I think he’ll transition well
from the surface at Fairgrounds to Oaklawn. We’ll ship him up Saturday
and he’ll be ready.”
combination on trainer Cody Autry and jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. has
been red-hot since opening day and they will pair with Tanzanite Cat,
who broke his maiden in front running fashion
by four lengths at Fair Grounds Dec. 8 and has several strong works at
been (impressive maiden winner) Paganol’s workmate for the last 6
weeks,” said Autry. “This horse is all speed; he’s ready to go.”
of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Jon Court, who partnered with
Will Take Charge last year, will try for their second straight Smarty
Jones Stakes with maiden Unstoppable
Colby. The Pulpit colt showed improvement when finishing second in a
maiden special weight at Churchill Nov. 30 in his last start.
complete field for the Smarty Jones: D’Cajun Cat, Ricardo Santana Jr.;
Whyruawesome, Channing Hill; Fire Starter, Robby Albarado; Son of a
Preacher, Cliff Berry; A Step Ahead, Francisco
Torres; Walt, Ken Tohill; Denali Rahy Ruler, Alex Birzer; Tanzanite
Cat, Norberto Arroyo Jr.; Unstoppable Colby, Jon Court, and Coastline,