Horse Racing

The winning lineup is still perfect with Smarty Jones Win

winning lineup continues to live up to his name.

The Tapwrit pony won the third race in a row to kick-start her career, starting the year off with an unquestionable win, from gate to rope in a mile, $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-old at Oaklawn Park January 1st.

Victory Formation was also the first black type winner for her sire.

Breaking through from turret 8, Victory Formation and jockey Flavien Prat wasted no time moving forward. Rising just outside of longshot West Ghent (30-1), Pratt crossed in front of the Western Ghent driven by Cristian Torres to take the railway.

Prat told FanDuel TV: “I just wanted to rest comfortably and get in position. “He had really good entry speed and I was in the lead, but it didn’t really matter (first or second in the first round) at the time.”

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Western Ghent was resilient, holding second place until just before the stretch. While, angel of the empire , who went as far as six lengths after a quarter of a mile, worked along the tracks. Joseph Talamo worked to try to bridge the three-dimensional gap that Prat and Victory Formation had created between them. However, the winner is too strong.

A late rally from Dennington allowing him to cross the Western Ghent half the length.

Stopping the clock at 1:38.14 on a fast track, Victory Formation posted the fractions as: 23.20, :47.75, 1:12.36 and 1:25.21.

Victory Formation won its first special weight class at Keeneland in October, followed by an optional claim race at Churchill Downs in November.

In addition to the perfect start, Victory Formation made $282,285. He was bred by Gainesway and trained by Brad Cox.

Cox also trains Angle of Empire, who comes in second. Dennington, West Ghent, and How did he do that? finish top five in the field of eight horses. Victory Formation paid $3.20 for the win.

The top five finishers earn points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby (G1) on a 10-4-3-2-1 basis. Following Smarty Jones, Victory Formation’s 10 points put him sixth in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings.

In addition to the Smart Strike Smart N Soft mare, Victory Formation is one of her six ponies. Of those six, half started and won. The other two, Bellamore and Maker of an Empire, are from Empire Maker. The King of Victory Formation, Tapwrit, stands in Gainesway for $10,000.

Victory Formation has been sold three times, most recently at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old training sale for $340,000 by Spendthrift Farm and Frank Fletcher Racing in LG shipment. He was previously sold for $150,000 at Fasig-Tipton 2021 Select Yearling Sale by Gina Fennell in Gainesway shipment and at Keeneland November 2020 Seed sale for $100,000 in Gainesway shipment by Black Cat Stable.

Videotapes: Smarty Jones S. (BT)


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