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Smarty Jones Attracts Ten Sophomores

The 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.

 

Heading 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.

 

Trainer 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.

 

“This 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.” 

 

The 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 Oaklawn since. 

 

“He’s been (impressive maiden winner) Paganol’s workmate for the last 6 weeks,” said Autry. “This horse is all speed; he’s ready to go.”

 

Hall 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.

 

The 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, Shaun Bridgmohan.

 


 

 

 

 

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