(Dash Attack wins the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park / Photo Courtesy of Oaklawn Park)
From the Oaklawn Park Media Team:
Impressive Dec. 5 maiden winner Dash Attack made the successful step up to stakes competition with a powerful victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. In the process, the colt, who races for Catalyst Stable, Magdalena Racing, Kevin Pollard and Patty Slevin, earned 10 important points towards Kentucky Derby eligibility.
Dash Attack broke a step behind the field from his rail post, but that allowed him to settle into seventh place. Ruggs led the field through an opening quarter mile in :23 before relenting the lead to Ben Diesel before a half mile in :46 2/5. Jockey David Cohen moved the winner out of traffic and they came four-wide into the lane before drawing off to win by two lengths over Barber Road, who also closed fast to earn four points for second. Final time for the one-mile race was 1:39 2/5 over a sloppy track.
“He broke a little flat-footed today, but was able to work out a pretty good trip,” Cohen said. “I had to move a little earlier than I would have liked. I like to be a little more patient with the horse, but given the short stretch, it was the time to go and I saw one opportunity to get out (of traffic). I pointed him in that direction and got that so-called sling shot effort. He really turned up his game and turned on the power.”
Ignitus finished third by a head in front of Advent Stakes-winner Kavod. Ignitus earned two points toward Kentucky Derby eligibility, while Kavod earned one.
Dash Attack, a Munnings colt trained by Kenny McPeek, is now a perfect two for two and has earned $205,440. He returned $17.40, $8.60 and $5.60 at odds of 7-1.
Live racing resumes Sunday with the a 12:30 p.m. first post. The next race in Oaklawn’s 3-year-old series is the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) on Saturday, Jan. 29.
Winning trainer Kenny McPeek (from Florida): “I’m just really pleased with the job David (Cohen) and my team did over there. Just an impressive run by that colt. Look, he’s still just figuring it out, this horse. I knew he would come from off the pace. I saw that he got off a little awkward. I just didn’t want David to rush things and it looked to me like he started to, but then as the race unfolded, he kind of ended up in a pocket for a while. But good horses overcome things and he’s done that, for sure.”
Trainer John Ortiz, second with Barber Road: “I thought we ran a winning race. We were hoping to be a lot closer than where we were, but there was so much speed and we were so far out that I think Rey (Reylu Gutierrez) did the right thing by putting him the right position. He settled in behind horses.”
Jockey Reylu Gutierrez, second with Barber Road: “They were going pretty fast. He’s a sharp horse. He was coming from a sprint, anyway. When I saw that they got out in front of me, I knew they were going fast. I was happy taking back. My trip materialized. Everything worked out very well. Very glad that we placed where we did.”
Trainer Chris Hartman, fourth with Kavod: “I knew that wire was coming, but it was going to be a long ways. I could have sworn the horse ran third. We just missed. Might have moved a little bit soon. Should have waited a little longer, but we’re stretching him and felt that way. He ran good. I’m happy with him.”
Jockey Florent Geroux, 10th on favorite Home Brew: “Great trip. Saved ground. No kick.”