Albano won the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park in June.

Albano won the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park in June.

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Competitive Group Entered for Smarty Jones

The $300,000 stakes at Parx Sept. 1 is the local prep for Pennsylvania Derby.

Ten 3-year-olds, some of which may have their sights on the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) in three weeks, will battle in the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 1 at Parx Racing.

The Smarty Jones, at one mile and 70 yards, is named for the Pennsylvania-bred colt that finished a game second in the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to lose his bid for a Triple Crown sweep. Parx is commemorating the 10th anniversary of Smarty Jones' 3-year-old campaign with other Labor Day festivities Sept. 1.

The Smarty Jones drew an evenly matched field of 3-year-old colts and geldings, some of which have kept good company at times this year. One of those is trainer Lisa Guerrero and Joseph Besecker's Classic Giacnroll. Last time out he finished fourth in the grade II West Virginia Derby behind the accomplished Tapiture , Candy Boy, and Vicar's in Trouble.

Classic Giacnroll, who trains at Parx, has only two wins in 11 starts but has shown signs of talent this season. The Giacomo colt finished second in the Jerome Stakes (gr. II) and fourth in the Withers Stakes (gr. III) earlier this year in New York and should be running late from off the pace in the Smarty Jones.

Kendrick Carmouche gets a return call at 117 pounds from post 2. Classic Giacnroll is ranked as a 12-1 outsider in the morning line.

The favorite in the early line at 2-1 is Brereton Jones' Albano, a Larry Jones trainee who won the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park in June, and earlier this year just missed winning the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The Istan gelding finished a good second in the William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) behind blowout winner Bayern  in his last start and has been training well at his Delaware Park base.

Albano, who drew post 3 and will be ridden again by Kerwin Clark, shares high weight of 124 pounds with Joint Custody and Just Call Kenny because they have won an unrestricted stakes in 2013-14.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will ship in International Equities Holding's Protonico  from Saratoga Race Course, where he finished a head behind victorious V. E. Day  when third in the Curlin Stakes in his last start. V. E. Day came back to win the grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

At 7-2 in the morning line, Protonico, by Giant's Causeway , will be ridden by Joe Bravo from post 8 at 117 pounds.

Entries: Smarty Jones S. (G3)

Parx Racing, Monday, September 01, 2014, Race 10

  • Grade III
  • 1m 70y
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo
  • 4:44 PM (local)
11Ain't Got Time (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJulian Pimentel117Michael R. Matz-
22Classic Giacnroll (KY)Kendrick Carmouche117Lisa Guerrero-
33Albano (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKerwin D. Clark124J. Larry Jones-
44Joint Custody (MD)Trevor McCarthy124John J. Robb-
55Grasshoppin (PA)Roberto Alvarado, Jr.117Mario Serey, Jr.-
66Almost Famous (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJunior Alvarado117Patrick B. Byrne-
77Just Call Kenny (VA)Paco Lopez124Patrick B. McBurney-
88Protonico (KY)Joe Bravo117Todd A. Pletcher-
99Saa Mi (KY)Miguel Mena117Brendan P. Walsh-
1010Lynx (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateFrankie Pennington117Cathal A. Lynch-