BENSALEM, PA – Reddam Racing’s Pavel continued his upward progression on Monday, winning his first stakes race in only his third career start in the Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones at Parx Racing.
Only two months removed from winning on debut at Santa Anita, Pavel and rider Mario Gutierrez broke from gate 3 and were bumped at the start by Bonus Points but settled and sat off the pace set by Colonelsdarktemper.
Exiting the far turn, Pavel burst through and took the lead leaving the 1/4 pole and let Gutierrez enjoy the ride to the wire, crossing under a hand ride in a final time of 1:42.27 for the 1 1/16-mile event.
Talk Logistics finished second after setting a wide trip from the get-go. Colonelsdarktemper weakened in the stretch but was able to hold onto third, with Bonus Points, Battalion Runner, and Hence completing the order of finish.
With the win, Pavel is guaranteed a free entry to the Grade 2, $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby here on September 23. His record now stands at 3-2-0-0, with his lone board miss coming in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy.
Pavel returned $9.80 to win, $6.20 to place, and $3.60 to show. Talk Logistics brought back $10.20 to place and $4.80 to show, while Colonelsdarktemper paid $2.60 to show.