(Smile Happy and rider Corey Lanerie / All Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Trainer Kenny McPeek had to scratch Tiz the Bomb, the 3-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s 95th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) because of a minor ailment, but Plan B worked out just fine as the McPeek-trainedSmile Happy rolled to an eye-catching 3 ¼-length victory over 7-5 post time favorite Classic Causeway.

Smile Happy, owned by Michael J. Mackin’s Lucky Seven Stable, clocked 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.94, earned $234,410 and collected 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” series, which offered points on a scale of 10-4-2-1 to the Top 4 finishers as a “Prep Season” race.

Corey Lanerie rode the winner for McPeek, who saddled four winners on the 12-race “Stars of Tomorrow II” program. Lanerie rode three of McPeek’s winners.

“I’m mad we didn’t win the Golden Rod (with Sandstone),” McPeek quipped. “This is really a team effort and I want to give a lot of credit to our team behind these horses. I’m really proud of the horse and thankful the Mackin Family gave us this horse to train. He’s been very impressive to start his career.”

 Smile Happy paid $11.60, $4.60 and $3.60 as the 9-2 third betting choice. Classic Causeway, under Joel Rosario, paid $3.40 and $2.80. Florida invader White Abarrio was another 2 ¾ lengths back in third and returned $4 to show at odds of 6-1 with Edgard Zayas aboard.

It was another half-length back to Ben Diesel in fourth, who was followed by Howling Time, Vivar, Call Me Midnight, Red Knobs, Guntown, Texas Red Hot and Ready Pursuit. Rich Strike and Tiz the Bomb were scratched.

McPeek withdrew Tiz the Bomb, the runner-up to Modern Games (IRE) in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) runner-up, after his left front became inflamed from what appeared to be an infection.

Howling Time, the 2-1 second choice after a 3 ¼-length win in the $200,000 Street Sense on Oct. 31, led the field of 11 two-year-olds through comfortable early splits of :23.95, :48.74 and 1:13.25 as Smile Happy relaxed in fifth from the outside and moved within a length of the leader on the final turn.

Leaving the last turn, it was four in a line from the inside out: Howling Time, Ben Diesel, Classic Causeway and Smile Happy. Racing four-wide, Smile Happy kicked clear with three-sixteenths of a mile to run and extended his lead down the stretch for a powerful win.

“You’d think this horse ran 10 times already with how mature he acts,” Lanerie said. “He’s very ratable and easy to ride. I felt very confident with him at the half-mile pole. I could tell I had a lot of horse beneath me. I got him into the right spot and he really kicked clear in the stretch. He’s got a bright future.”

Overall, Smile Happy has a perfect record of two wins in two starts and earnings of $284,810. Previously, Smile Happy won his debut at Keeneland over 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 29 by 5 ½ lengths.

Smile Happy now has 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard that will determine the preference list for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby (GI) on May 7.

“We’ll probably take it easy with him in December and January and start deciding his future in February.” said McPeek, who also won the 2001 Kentucky Jockey Club with Repent. “At this stage we have a lot of options on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. It’s a good problem to have.”

Smile Happy, a son of Runhappy out of the Pleasant Tap mare Pleasant Smile, was bred in Kentucky by Moreau Bloodstock Int’l Inc. and White Bloodstock LLC.

The Kentucky Jockey Club is named in honor of the holding company that operated Churchill Downs at the time of the race’s inaugural running in 1920. In recent years, the Kentucky Jockey Club produced Kentucky Derby winners in WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, who won both races for trainer Todd Pletcher in 2009 and ’10, and Mike Pegram’s Real Quiet, the runner-up in the 1997 Kentucky Jockey Club who returned to win the Derby the following spring.

Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday at 1 p.m. ET with a 12-race card for closing day of the Fall Meet. There will be a mandatory payout in the 20-cent Derby City 6 (Races 7-12), which features a carryover of $224,263.

DREAM LITH RUNS DOWN YUUGIRI FOR GRADE II, $400,000 GOLDEN ROD WIN

 Dream Lith put in a wide rally and wore down pacesetter Yuugiri in deep stretch to win Saturday’s 78th running of the $400,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) at Churchill Downs by one length. Sandstone, the 4-5 favorite, was another 3 ¼ lengths back in third.

Dream Lith, who ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:44.72 as the 9-1 fourth betting choice in the field of eight 2-year-old fillies, collected the $240,455 first prize and 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, which offers points on a scale of 10-4-2-1 to the Top 4 finishers as a “Prep Season” race.

 Ramon Vazquez rode the winner for trainer Robertino Diodoro and owners Kevin Moody’s Cypress Creek Equine and Arnold Bennewith.

Dream Lith paid $20.20, $8.40 and $3.60. Yuugiri, at odds of 8-1 under Tyler Gaffalione, paid $7.20 and $3.60. Sandstone returned $2.40 to show with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard.

Yuugiri, who added blinkers for the race, went straight to the front and led the way through fractions of :24.04, :47.95 and 1:12.85 with Sandstone on her right hip and Cancel This and Famed up close as well. Dream Lith, who also added blinkers to focus, was rated in sixth in the clear down the backstretch and commenced her winning move around the far turn.

Sandstone drew closer to Yuugiri at the top of the stretch but the leader kicked on as Dream Lith powered home down the center of the track. Dream Lith, with a four-wide move, continued to rally and surged past a stubborn Yuugiri inside the final sixteenth of a mile for the win.

“I got her into a comfortable rhythm early in the race and just let her do her thing,” Vasquez said. “I knew I had a lot of horse and I was confident she’d be able to fight with (Yuugiri) in the stretch. She’s a very nice filly and has a good future in front of her.”

Prior to the Golden Rod, Dream Lith finished fifth in the $300,000 Spinaway (GI) at Saratoga in August and $400,000 Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland on Oct. 8.

Behind Sandstone, the 10 ¾-length winner of the $200,000 Rags to Riches on Oct. 31, it was champion Essential Quality’s half-sister Famed, Secret Oath, Code for Success, Cancel This and Hal’s Dream.

Dream Lith is a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the Street Cry (IRE) mare Elle Sueno and was bred in Kentucky by Southern Equine Stables LLC.

TEJANO TWIST WINS INAUGURAL $200,000 LIVELY SHIVELY

Tom Durant’s homebred Tejano Twist tracked a quick early pace and surged down the stretch to win Saturday’s inaugural running of the $200,000 Lively Shively for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs by a half-length over Barber Road.

Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., Tejano Twist covered the 6 ½ furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.82.

A 2-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Practical Joke out of the Cuvee mare Haley’s Lollypop, Tejano Twist improved his record to 3-3-0 in eight starts and added $122,070 to his bankroll and increased his earnings to $260,670. Previously, he won a first-level allowance/optional claiming event at Keeneland on Oct. 22 by 7 ¼ lengths.

Tejano Twist returned $4.40, $3 and $2.60 as the 6-5 favorite in the field of six juvenile sprinters. Barber Road, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $6.20 and $3.80 with Cool Papa Gfinishing third under Joel Rosario and paying $3 to show.

Chattalot, who led the way through early fractions of :22.96 and :46.01, faded to fourth and was followed by Hoist the Gold and Ignitis. Charter Oak and Ready to March were scratched.

HOMEBRED MARISSA’S LADY VICTORIOUS IN $200,000 FERN CREEK

 Boone Family Trust and Tillema Family Trust’s homebred Marissa’s Lady shot past pacesetter Verylittlecents at the top of the stretch and turned back a late challenge from 8-5 favorite Matereya en route to a one-length victory in the inaugural running of the $200,000 Fern Creek for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Marissa’s Lady, trained by Billy Morey and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, ran 6 ½ furlongs over a fast track in 1:16.85.

The victory was worth $121,140 and increased Marissa’s Lady’s earnings to $190,600 with a record of two wins in two starts. She is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Violence out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Marissa’s Joy, and broke her maiden at first asking on Oct. 31.

Sent off at odds of 3-1, Marissa’s Lady returned $8, $4 and $2.60. Matareya, under Joel Rosario, and paid $3.40 and $2.60 with Sweet Dani Girl another 2 ½ lengths back in third paying $2.80 to show under Martin Garcia.

Bali Del Sol, Knowing Glance, Verylittlecents and Laura’s Charm completed the order of finish. Golden Sights was scratched.

KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB QUOTES

Corey Lanerie, jockey of SMILE HAPPY (winner): “You’d think this horse ran 10 times already with how mature he acts. He’s very ratable and easy to ride. I felt very confident with him at the half-mile pole. I could tell I had a lot of horse beneath me. I got him into the right spot and he really kicked clear in the stretch. He’s got a bright future.”

Kenny McPeek, trainer of SMILE HAPPY (winner): “This is really a team effort and I want to give a lot of credit to our team behind these horses. I’m really proud of the horse and thankful the Mackin Family gave us this horse to train. He’s been very impressive to start his career. We’ll probably take it easy with him in December and January and start deciding his future in February. At this stage we have a lot of options on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. It’s a good problem to have.”

Joel Rosario, jockey of CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (runner-up): “He rated really well today. I thought he ran a good effort he was second best tonight.”

Brian Lynch, trainer of CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (runner-up): “We’ll live to fight another day. I think he’ll get a lot out of this race. He rated well and ran well. We’re proud of how he ran and we’ll be back down the road.”

Edgard Zayas, jockey of WHITE ABARRIO (third): “He got out of the gate and was in a good spot. He ran well.”

 GOLDEN ROD QUOTES

Ramon Vazquez, jockey of DREAM LITH (winner): “I got her into a comfortable rhythm early in the race and just let her do her thing. I knew I had a lot of horse and I was confident she’d be able to fight with (Yuugiri) in the stretch. She’s a very nice filly and has a good future in front of her.”

Tyler Gaffalione, jockey of  YUUGIRI (runner-up): “She got away from the gate strong but came right back to me in the bridle. I’m really proud of her effort. She ran a great race.”

Brian Hernandez Jr., jockey of SANDSTONE (third as 4-5 favorite): “I tracked (Yuugiri) all the way around there and she was in a good spot down the backside. She just wasn’t good enough today.”

LIVELY SHIVELY QUOTES

Joe Rocco Jr., jockey of TEJANO TWIST (winner): “He’s really figured things out this summer. Today I was a little worried when I got floated wide into the turn but I had so much horse below me. Horses like him are really fun to ride. He’s a very nice horse and keeps improving in each start.”

Dennis “Peaches” Geier, assistant trainer of TEJANO TWIST (winner): “It took him a couple starts to break his maiden but started to figure things out quickly. He was very impressive today after going wide into the turn but had a lot left for the stretch run.”

FERN CREEK QUOTES

Rafael Bejarano, jockey of MARISSA’S LADY (winner): “She was very impressive tonight. She battled hard near the pace and it was pretty contested. She finished well.”

Billy Morey, trainer of MARISSA’S LADY (winner): “Every horse we seemed to put her with training in the morning she’d beat in her works. We knew we had a nice filly but she kept getting better and better every work. We’ll enjoy this win and figure things out in the future. I think she may be able to stretch out in the future but we’ll take it one step at a time. It’s an honor to be here at Churchill Downs. I feel like we are at the home of thoroughbred racing every time I walk through the gate here.”

Joel Rosario, jockey of Matereya (runner-up): “She might not have been too comfortable inside but she fought on nicely to the wire.”