Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Smarty Jones winner Uncontested returned to the winner’s circle last Saturday at Churchill Downs; Multiple Stakes winner Whitmore became a millionaire Saturday when he finished third in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park.
Smarty Jones Winner Uncontested Back in the Winner’s Circle
Uncontested, among the most promising 3-year-olds this year at Oaklawn, returned to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s ninth race at Churchill Downs, an allowance/optional claiming sprint.
Favored at 6-5 under perennial Churchill Downs riding champion Corey Lanerie, Uncontested came from just off the pace to score by 1 ¼ lengths for co-owners Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock, Ark., and Robert LaPenta and trainer Wayne Catalano.
The victory was the first for Uncontested since the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn in his 3-year-old debut. He went wire to wire in the 1-mile Smarty Jones, setting stakes records for margin of victory (5 ¼ lengths) and time (1:36.32) over the sloppy track.
In Sunday’s race, Uncontested ran 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.59 and paid $4.40.
A son of Tiz Wonderful, Uncontested has won 3 of 8 lifetime starts and earned $196,729.
Oaklawn regular Mac Robertson captured his 11th training title at Canterbury Park, which concluded its 67-day meeting Saturday. He finished with 69 victories, including five Saturday, from 274 starts and also led all trainers in purse earnings ($1,763,068).
All 11 of Robertson’s titles at the Minnesota track have come since 2005. Robertson was Canterbury’s leading trainer from 2005-2013 before Robertino Diodoro topped the standings in 2014 and 2015.
Robertson regained the title in 2016.
Diodoro was Oaklawn’s second-leading trainer this year with 31 victories. Robertson won 12 races this year in Hot Springs to finish ninth and has 163 overall since 2005. He is best known for training millionaire and multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Win Willy.
In a vote of media members and racing officials, three Robertson trainees were named divisional champions this year at Canterbury, including Amy’s Challenge (Horse of the Year and 2-year-old) and Hot Shot Kid (3-year-old colt or gelding).
Hot Shot Kid, who broke his maiden April 15 at Oaklawn, was a multiple stakes winner at the meet.
Amy’s Challenge beat males in both career starts, including Saturday’s $75,000 Shakopee Juvenile. She is owned by Robertson’s longtime client, Novogratz Racing Stables Inc., which won four races this year at Oaklawn.
Jareth Loveberry captured his first Canterbury riding title with 74 victories. Loveberry won 13 races this year at Oaklawn.
Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Whitmore ($1,022,000) surpassed $1 million in career earnings with a third-place finish in the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Saturday at Laurel for co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs. Whitmore (7 of 14 lifetime) won Oaklawn’s $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 11 and $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 15. Moquett was Oaklawn’s co-sixth-leading trainer this year with 20 victories. … Athena, winner of the $125,000 American Beauty Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters Jan. 28 at Oaklawn, ran second in the $100,000 Open Mind Stakes Saturday at Churchill Downs. Athena crossed the finish line third, but was placed second by stewards because of an incident in the stretch involving two other horses. … Oaklawn-raced Tiger Moth ran third in the $100,000 Locust Grove Stakes (G3) Saturday at Churchill Downs.