Mount Joy Stables’ hombred Smooth Air turned in a strong seven furlong work at Calder Race Course April 19 in preparation for a start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Under regular exercise rider Jody Gelb, the Florida-bred son of Smooth Jazz went the distance in 1:25.80 for trainer Bennie Stutts Jr. According to Stutts, Smooth Air will board a Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flight bound for Louisville early April 20.
“I’m flying with him,” Stutts said of the Florida Derby (gr. I) runner-up. “I’m not letting him out of my sight. He did everything just perfect this morning. Jody’s been on him most of his career and does a great job with him. She’ll fly up to Churchill to work him again next Sunday.”
Smooth Air, out of the French Deputy mare Air France, currently ranks 14th on the list of graded earners vying for a spot in the 20-horse Derby field. He counts Gulfstream Park’s Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) among his three career victories.