Smarty Jones Sharp Enough in Southwest Stakes

Smarty Jones Sharp Enough in Southwest Stakes
Photo: Oaklawn Park/Sunny Taylor
Smarty Jones and jockey Stewart Elliott (7) win the Southwest Stakes, Saturday at Oaklawn Park.
Someday Farm's heavily-favored Smarty Jones ran his undefeated record to four Saturday, holding off the rallying Two Down Automatic and Pro Prado for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $100,000 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park.

Ridden by Stewart Elliott for trainer John Servis, Smarty Jones, a Pennsylvania homebred chestnut colt by Elusive Quality  , won his first three starts by a combined 27 3/4 lengths. But he did not enjoy that kind of cakewalk Saturday. Well clear in the stretch, he was fully extened in the late stages while carrying top weight of 122 pounds, covering the final quarter mile in :26 1/5. The final time for the mile on a fast strip, the leading local prep for the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), was 1:37 2/5.

Two Down Automatic, ridden by Tim Doocy, finally appeared to switch leads in mid-stretch and made up quite a bit of ground late while racing between horses. Pro Prado, John McKee in the irons, finished strongest of all after angling out in the stretch, just missing second by a half-length.

Wildcat Shoes popped the gate from the outside post in the field of nine, jumping to a two-length edge down the backstretch while posting quick splits of :22 4/5 and :45 4/5. Smarty Jones, who was reluctant to load, settled in off the fast pace, edged even after three quarters in 1:11 1/5 and had things to himself at the head of the stretch.

Smarty Jones earned his biggest paycheck, $60,000, to push his career total to $158,355. He won the one-mile, 70-yard Count Fleet on the inner track at Aqueduct by five lengths in his last start Jan. 3.

Sent off at 1-2, Smarty Jones paid $3, $3 and $2.20. Two Down Automatic returned $4.40 and $2.20. Pro Prado's show was $2.20. The $2 exacta was worth $22.

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