Smarty Jones Faces Local Competition in Southwest

Smarty Jones Faces Local Competition in Southwest
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
New York-based Smarty Jones is likely favorite for Saturday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Edited from track reports
Mrs. Jim Winn's Pro Prado and Patricia Blass' Wildcat Shoes, the one-two finishers in the Mountain Valley Stakes on Jan. 24, and the undefeated New York invader, Someday Farm's Smarty Jones, head the field for Saturday's $100,000 Southwest Stakes at one mile at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The purse for the Southwest, a steppingstone to the track's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on April 10, was raised to $100,000 this year.

Both Pro Prado and Wildcat Shoes represent Arkansas-based owners who have raced their horses at Oaklawn for decades. Mrs. Winn's Proper Reality captured the 1988 Southwest en route to his victory in that season's Arkansas Derby. The Blass runners have pursued Oaklawn's major 3-year-old stakes and finished second in the Southwest with It's a Done Deal in 1985, and third in the 1975 Arkansas Derby with My Friend Gus.

The key invader, and probable post-time favorite on Saturday, is Smarty Jones. The chestnut son of Elusive Quality   has won all three of his career starts by many lengths, including Aqueduct's Count Fleet in early January. That race, at a mile and 70 yards was around two turns and accomplished with a five length winning margin at the wire.

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