John Oxley's versatile Uncaptured, who has won on dirt and synthetic surfaces in the U.S. and Canada, heads a field of 10 3-year-olds entered in the $350,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III) at Parx Racing on Labor Day, Sept. 2.
The winner of the Smarty Jones, at one mile and 70 yards for 3-year-olds, will receive a free nomination, entry, and starting fee to the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Parx Sept. 21.
Uncaptured, an Ontario-bred by Lion Heart, took the 1 1/16-mile Prince of Wales Stakes by a length at Fort Erie last time out July 30, and ran a hard-knocking second by a head June 15 to Code West in the Matt Winn Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, where he won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) as a juvenile.
The Mark Casse trainee shares a highweight assignment of 124 pounds with Repole Stable's Micromanage, who was third in the July 28 William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) last time out. Uncaptured breaks from post 10 under Miguel Mena for trainer Mark Casse, while Micromanage was assigned post 5 and jockey Joe Bravo for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Micromanage, a son of Medaglia d'Oro , won the July 7 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park going 1 1/16 miles by 4 1/2 lengths before finishing third behind Verrazano and Power Broker in the Haskell. He is cross-entered for the main track only in the Sept. 1 Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Race Course, as is stablemate and fellow Smarty Jones entrant Battier.
Battier won the one-mile Fit to Fight Stakes on dirt at Aqueduct Racetrack in April and was recently third in an off-the-turf edition of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. III), extended to 1 1/8 miles on a rainy day at Saratoga. The son of Tale of the Cat would break from the rail under Angel Castillo if he ran in the Smarty Jones.
Hardway Stables' Speak Logistics continues his comeback for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. from the post 3 under Roberto Alvarado Jr. The Florida-bred High Cotton colt ran third in the Feb. 23 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and was second in the Calder Derby in April before going to the sidelines; he recently ran back for the first time Aug. 10, when he finished second in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Monmouth. He is the winner of the 2012 Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes.
Another of interest in this spot is Jerry Durant's Unbridled's Song colt Betweenhereandcool, runner-up in the Iowa Derby (gr. III) and fourth in the Aug. 3 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) last time out for trainer Steve Asmussen.
$350,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III, Race 11, approximate post 5:18 p.m. EDT), 3YOs, 1 mile 70 yards (dirt)