Undefeated Smarty Jones, the likely favorite for next Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II), worked five furlongs Saturday in a bullet :58 3/5, almost two seconds quicker than the second fastest time (1:00 2/5) at the distance.
Smarty Jones, who would win a $5 million bonus if he should take the Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby (gr. I), has won all five of his starts, including victories in the Rebel, Southwest, Count Fleet, and Pennsylvania Nursey Stakes.
The son of Elusive Quality
is expected to be tested by stakes-placed Borrego, Purge, and Shadowland in the nine-furlong Arkansas Derby, as well as the stakes-winning Pro Prado and Mr. Jester, who ran a disappointing race in the Rebel, but bounced back to work five furlongs in :58 4/5 Friday.
Also working for a possible start in the Arkansas Derby was Cryptograph, who went his five furlongs in 1:00 3/5.
In other works Saturday, The Cliff's Edge, who could run in either the Wood Memorial (gr. I) or Lexington Stakes (gr. II) breezed six furlongs in 1:14 at Keeneland. Royal Assault, another possibility for the Wood Memorial, also breezed six furlongs in 1:14.
One definite Wood starter, Swingforthefences, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Palm Meadows training center.
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake, who will train up to the Derby, breezed five furlongs in 1:06 at Payson Park for trainer John Kimmel.