Smart N Classy Scores Eatontown Surprise

(from Monmouth Park report)
Roseland Farm Stable's New Jersey-bred Smart N Classy rallied on the outside to get up in the final stride for a nose victory over Lentil in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Bred by the owner, John Bowers, Smart N Classy charged down the outside over a turf course rated "soft," stopping the timer in 1:46 1/5 for the 1 1/16 mile. The winner returned $15.40, $6.40 and $2.80. Lentil completed a $164 exacta and paid $10.40 and $4.80. Spotlight rallied on the inside and was a neck back in third, paying $2.80.

"I had a perfect trip today," said winning jockey Jose Velez Jr. "Everything worked out perfectly. I knew it was going to be a sprint in the last three-eighths, but my mare was very game and had enough left to get up in the last jump. I didn't know if I got up or not. I thought I might have, but I didn't want to jinx myself."

Winning trainer John Tammaro III added, "They came by the stands for the first time and she was a little bit closer than I wanted her, but when I saw the first 1/4 in :25 and change, there wasn't much else that could be done. I know she keeps running and never quits. She's a real game horse.

"This is the fifth generation of this family that I've trained. They were all bred by Mr. Bowers. He bred this one right at his Colt's Neck farm and the whole operation is a credit to him."

The Eatontown win was the sixth victory in 24 starts for Smart N Classy, a 5-year-old mare by Smart Strike from the Regal Classic mare Teenage Queen. She has now earned $319,644 for her owner.

(Chart, Equibase)