Smooth Jazz Tops Best Turn Stakes

Lightly raced Smooth Jazz beat Tank's Expectation by 2 3/4 lengths in Saturday's Aqueduct feature, the 18th running of the $82,950 Best Turn Stakes for 3-year-olds. President Butler was third in the field of nine, another length behind. Double My Prospect, War Native, White Ibis, Eye of the Comet, Final Table, and Cool Cash completed the order of finish.

Racing coupled in the wagering with War Native as part of Anthony Dutrow's entry, Smooth Jazz carried 116 pounds and Mario Pino six furlongs in 1:10.76 on the fast track to win his debut in stakes company and earn $49,770 for owner-trainer Dutrow.

"Tony (Dutrow) was very confident, and because of that, I was confident, too," said Pino. "I was a little worried because my horse was spotting the other horses experience, but it didn't matter. We've always liked him and he is showing us why. He's better today that he was in his debut."

A $95,000 yearling purchase, Smooth Jazz (Storm Boot -- Blushing Issue, by Blushing John) has now won both of his two career starts. He earned $49,770 for Saturday's win.

"We thought a lot about Smooth Jazz before he ran," Dutrow said. "I don't think he beat any stars today, but he beat horses with a lot of experience. He switched leads on cue and galloped out great. I was happy with his professionalism today. It feels good knowing I was right about him. I will definitely consider either the Gotham (gr. III, March 17) or the Bay Shore (gr. III, April 13)."

The winning entry returned $6.00, $3.60, and $2.40. Tank's Expectation paid $14.20 and $7.00, and President Butler $3.50. (Chart, Equibase)