Spun to Run earned both his first graded win and a berth into the Pennsylvania Derby on Monday when he edged Gray Magician in the Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx Racing.
The Hard Spun colt entered the Smarty Jones off a third-place run last out July 20 in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park, his first stakes start.
Spun to Run went off as the 3-2 favorite in the Smarty Jones, a 1 1/16-mile dirt feature for 3-year-olds. He was third in the early going under jockey Paco Lopez as Bethlehem Road set fractions of :23.1 and :47.1.
Spun to Run made his initial move in the turn, splitting Bethlehem Road and Top Line Growth to assume the lead with 2 ½ furlongs remaining.
As Spun to Run revved up, Gray Magician came from fourth place and tore around the outside. He put away Top Line Growth at the top of the stretch and temporarily edged ahead of Spun to Run.
The Juan Carlos Guerrero trainee Spun to Run fought back. He evened with Gray Magician for a dramatic stretch run, then got his head down to win by a nose. Top Line Growth finished third behind those two.
Robert Donaldson campaigns the Kentucky-bred Spun to Run, who returned $5 to win.
Spun to Run earned free entry into the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) scheduled for Sept. 21 at Parx. That 3-year-old showcase is expected to attract division leader Maximum Security, Preakness Stakes winner War of Will and four-time graded hero Mr. Money, among others.