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Check out our predictions and odds for the Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx!
|SALUTE THE STARS
|R E Reid Jr
|L C Linder Jr
|J C Servis
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
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Salute the Stars looks to return to his winning ways when he headlines a field of nine sophomore colts entered in Tuesday’s Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx.
Trained by Brad Cox, the bay colt by Candy Ride had a three-race winning streak snapped last time when he faded out of contention in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park.
He had some trouble in that million-dollar race won by Geaux Rocket Ride. Before that, he was a game-winner of the Pegasus Stakes also at Monmouth.
Chief among his challengers in the 1 1/16-mile prep for the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby are a pair of lightly raced runners from top barns.
Army Times has won two straight for trainer Chad Brown since running fourth in his career debut in March.
Most recently, the son of Into Mischief romped home by better than six lengths in an allowance race at Monmouth Park.
Victory Way is also a 2-of-3 lifetime. Trained by Bill Mott, the City of Light colt comes in off a strong allowance win at Belmont Park on July 1.
Checked early in the Grade 1 Haskell last time, it appears this son of Candy Ride did not have a strong interest in recovering from the trouble and faded down the stretch.
That came against top-notch competition, though, and he now gets a bit of a class break. Still, there is some serious competition here and the Brad Cox-trained runner will need to be at his best to win this.
Before his attempt in the Grade 1, he looked the part of a nice colt developing into a solid graded stakes performer. The graded stakes winner is the most proven horse in the race, but as the favorite, I do believe he is beatable and I will take a shot to do just that.
Familiar trainer Chad Brown sends this son of Into Mischief to Parx to see if he has a real contender for next month’s rich Pennsylvania Derby.
While he did show some potential in his first two career starts, the last looked more like he could be the type of horse making some real noise in graded stakes racing. A repeat of his big allowance win last month makes him a real threat here, and he could be ready to take another step forward.
Having said that, he did control the pace in that one and should face a stronger early fraction on Tuesday. Still, he could be any kind and is an obvious threat in the Smarty Jones.
Trained by Bill Mott, this son of City of Light has the potential to be a very nice horse. A good debut winner back in March, he pressured the pace and stayed on pretty well in the Grade 3 Bay Shore in his second career start.
Given a brief freshening, he came back in a Belmont Park allowance race on July 1 and stalked and pounced for the win. Now he moves back into graded stakes racing in career start number four and should be involved early.
If there was less speed in here, I would like him better, but in both of his wins, he came from just off the pace. He looks like a talented colt who could be ready for this test. He is a threat.
Bred in Florida, this Upstart colt has not broken through to the winner’s circle since a maiden score back in January but has run several good races since then.
Trained by Cherie DeVaux, he just missed against the very nice Scotland in a Churchill Downs allowance race two starts back. He then followed that up with a deceptively good third-place finish last time in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby last out.
The top four in here all look good, but I am going to give him the advantage by sitting off the strong early pace. The odds should also be attractive. He is the top pick.
This Gun Runner colt has had plenty of chances against graded stakes competition for trainer Antonio Sano.
While consistent against lesser competition, he has not fared well when taking on strong horses. Having said that, his second last time in the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga was his best yet.
A repeat of that performance puts him in with a shot here, but his best races have been when he is part of the early pace. That will be tough on Tuesday, as a fast pace looks likely. I’m siding with others in this one.
This son of Uncle Mo has looked good in winning two straight over the track at Parx, but like many in the field, he must now move up in class.
He is also another in the field with early speed. With all the quick horses in the race, I am not sure how he will fare if he never sniffs the early lead.
That, coupled with the tougher competition should make things difficult for him on Tuesday. I prefer others in this $300,000 test.
Trained by John Servis, this son of American Freedom took a nice move forward last time. Romping home by nine lengths in an allowance race at Monmouth Park, it was his fourth win in his last five starts and his best performance yet.
He is becoming a nice horse and should not be completely dismissed here, but this will be a big step up in class.
I think the level of competition will probably be a bit too much for him on Tuesday, but he does look like a gelding to keep an eye on.
Twice a stakes winner at Parx, the local horse will look to prove he belongs with graded stakes competition here.
Trained by Butch Reid, he comes into this race off a dull effort in the mud behind Movistar. If that effort can be forgiven because of the track condition, he had been pretty consistent before that.
Although, the last time he faced graded competition, he backed out badly in the Grade 3 Withers. He likes the track but looks a cut below the big boys in here.
Another one who has done most of his racing at Parx, this son of Goldencents has won his last two nicely over the track.
That factor should always be considered, but the competition in those races falls considerably short of what he will face in the Smarty Jones.
All four of his lifetime wins have come at the Pennsylvania oval, but he is also 0-for-4 in stakes attempts and this is his toughest test yet. I like others better.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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