Thursday, August 10, 2017
Smarty Jones Stakes winner Uncontested is scheduled to make his first start since May in Saturday’s $75,000 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes at Arlington; Point Piper, third in the 2016 Oaklawn Handicap, and Chief of Staff, who competed in several Oaklawn stakes this year, are among the 12 horses entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) at Emerald Downs.
Smarty Jones winner Uncontested Returns Saturday
One of Oaklawn’s most promising 3-year-olds this year is scheduled to resurface in the $75,000 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes Saturday at Arlington Park. Uncontested, record-setting winner of the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16, drew post 8 for the 1-mile race to be run over the all-weather surface
Co-owned by Harry Rosenblum and Robert LePenta and trained by Wayne Catalano, Uncontested hasn’t started since finishing third in the $250,000 Pat Day Mile (G3) May 6 at Churchill Downs. Colonelsdarktemper, the eighth-place finisher in the Pat Day Mile, returned to win the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) Saturday at Mountaineer.
Uncontested, a speedy son of Tiz Wonderful, set stakes records for margin of victory (5 ¼ lengths) and time (1:36.32) in the 1-mile Smarty Jones, which was run over a sloppy track. Smarty Jones runner-up Petrov returned to win an allowance race Friday at Saratoga.
Following the Smarty Jones, Uncontested finished sixth in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 at Oaklawn and eighth in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 at Oaklawn.
Uncontested will be racing over a synthetic surface for the first time Saturday and attracts Arlington’s runaway riding leader Jose Valdivia Jr. Uncontested is the 3-1 program favorite.
Probable post time for the Bruce D. Memorial Stakes is 4:23 p.m. (Central).
Straight to the Point
Defending champion Point Piper drew post 2 for the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) Sunday at Emerald Downs. He finished third in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) last year at Oaklawn before setting a track record (1:32.90) in a 4 3/4-length victory in the Longacres Mile.
Point Piper (9-2 on the morning line) is among 12 horses entered in the Longacres Mile. Also entered is Chief of Staff (6-1), who raced six times this year at Oaklawn.
Chief of Staff finished sixth in the $125,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 13 and fifth in the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 15 for Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. The horse is again under the care of Van Berg’s friend, trainer Mike Puhich. Chief of Staff began his career with Puhich in 2014 at Emerald Downs.
Tiger Moth and Pinch Hit are expected to be entered in the $100,000 Groupie Doll Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares Sunday at Ellis Park for Brad Cox, third in Oaklawn’s trainer standings this year. Tiger Moth ran three times this year at Oaklawn, winning a Jan. 22 allowance/optional claimer before finishing third in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 18 and fourth in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 14. Pinch Hit broke her maiden for a $40,000 claiming tag March 23 at Oaklawn. … In addition to Smarty Jones winner Uncontested, several other Oaklawn-raced horses are entered on Saturday’s Arlington Million card at Arlington Park, including Oak Brook in the Million (G1) and Lovely Bernadette in the $100,000 Pucker Up (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at about 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Lovely Bernadette is trying to become the seventh starter from the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 11 to return and win a stakes race. Probable post time for the Pucker Up, which goes as race 12, is 7:02 p.m. (Central). The Honeybee was Oaklawn’s final major prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14. … Oaklawn maiden special weights graduate Swing and Sway is entered in Thursday’s fifth race at Saratoga, an allowance/optional claiming sprint. … Arkansas Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Classic Empire is targeting the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) Sept. 23 at Parx for his comeback race. … Gun Runner, runaway winner of the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) Feb. 20 at Oaklawn, remained No. 3 in the latest Longines world racehorse rankings released Thursday morning.