Nine days after having his first 2-year-old winner in Puerto Rico, Smarty Jonesregistered his first winner in the United States when Zayat Stables’ Keefer broke his maiden in his first start at MonmouthPark July 20.
The 3-2 second choice Keefer, out of the Seattle Slew mare Shootforthestars, tracked the leaders in fourth, made a three-wide bid at the head of the stretch, and after collaring the 6-5 favorite, the Todd Pletcher-trained Matador Run, drew clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths in :58.16 for the five furlongs.
Keefer was bred in Kentucky by Swettenham Stud, and was purchased by Zayat Stables for $60,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale. He is trained by Steve Asmussen.
What makes Keefer an appropriate first U.S. winner for Smarty Jones is the fact that his dam is owned by Pat Chapman, who raced Smarty Jones with her late husband, Roy. She purchased Shootforthestars for $450,000 at the 2006 Keeneland November Mixed sale in foal to Smarty Jones’ sire, Elusive Quality. The resulting colt is now a yearling, and the dam has a Smarty Jones colt by her side.