By Ray Paulick -- This year's Derby promises to be especially interesting because with all but a couple of the major preps in the books, there is no clear-cut favorite.
Undefeated Smarty Jones showed an impressive turn of foot coming out of the final turn and held the closing Borrego off through the stretch for a comfortable 1 1/2-length win in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
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.
Fox Hill Farm's favored Zonk allowed Pocus Hocus and With Ability to duel themselves out of contention, then came with an uncontested rally to post a four-length victory in Saturday's $109,600 Affectionately Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 mile on the Aqueduct inner dirt track.
D.J. Stables' Martha's Music won her second straight stakes race at Laurel Park Saturday, taking the $100,000 Anne Arundel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year old fillies.
Eclipse Award runner-up Jostle, who won last year's Alabama Stakes (gr. I) and Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), has been retired from racing.
Fox Hill Farms' Jostle led at every call en route to an upset victory over heavily favored Secret Status in the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
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