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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Shortleaf Stable homebred Caddo River headlines the field of seven 3-year-olds entered in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, the main event of Oaklawn Park’s opening day card on Friday, January 22.
The Smarty Jones awards Kentucky Derby (G1) points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis.
Hailing from the red-hot Brad Cox barn, Caddo River will reunite with Cox’s top rider Florent Geroux after breaking his maiden with a strong front-running score at Churchill Downs on November 15. Named for a river approximately 30 miles south of the track that’s popular for tube floating, the son of Hard Spun is well-bred to handle routing for the first time and will likely be a heavy favorite come post time.
Cowan gives dirt another shot after finishing second in the Springboard Mile Stakes at Remington Park on December 1. Prior to that, he finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) and Indian Summer Stakes and third in the Bal a Bali Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes. Trainer Steve Asmussen’s first-call rider Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount.
The full field for the Smarty Jones from the rail out: Martini Blu (trainer Mac Robertson, jockey Francisco Arrieta), Lawlessness (Ingrid Mason, David Cohen), Cowan, Big Thorn (Asmussen, David Cabrera), Hardly Swayed (Rey Hernandez, Martin Garcia), Moonlight Strike (Saffie Joseph Jr., Joe Talamo), and Caddo River.
The Smarty Jones is the first of four Kentucky Derby prep races hosted at Oaklawn Park, culminating with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 10.
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