In front-running fashion, Dryfly captured the Jan. 18 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park by 2 1/4 lengths over Pleasant Storm, and in the process stamped himself as one of the ones to watch along the Kentucky Derby Trail.
Breaking from Post 4 under last year’s Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, Dryfly zoomed to the front and never relinquished his lead in the one-mile dirt contest. Clicking off fractions of :47.65, 1:13.75, and 1:27.70, he completed the distance in 1:41.69.
The Smarty Jones winner is trained by Lynn Whiting, who won the 1992 Kentucky Derby with Lil E. Tee. Charles Cella, the owner of Oaklawn Park, owns Dryfly.
Dryfly has now won three of four starts, for earnings of $114,840. The gelding broke his maiden at first asking last September at Philadephia Park, and prior to the Smarty Jones, he won an allowance contest in November at Churchill Downs.
The Smarty Jones winner was bred in Kentucky by Mineola Farm II and is out of the Topsider mare Creeksider. Dryfly returned $5.20, $3.60, and $3.00; Pleasant Storm paid $8 to place and $4.80 to show. Third-place finisher Kitty's Turn paid $4. The 4-9 exacta paid $43.