Monday’s Smarty Jones, a non-graded stakes race for three-year olds, headlines the Martin Luther King Day card on Oaklawn Park’s opening weekend.
Two of the eight horses entered are currently listed on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Warrior’s Club, 22nd on the list, is looking to add to his two points and if he wins he’ll move into 4th place with 12 points – two behind Practical Joke in 3rd and two ahead of Gunnevera in 5th.
The connections of Uncontested, last on the list of the top 30 with 1 point, also hope to assume the 4th spot on the list with 11, if he were to win.
The 1 mile Smarty Jones is worth 10 points to the winner and 4 points the the runner-up, and should be an easy spot for both horses to pad their points total.
Warrior’s Club, 7 to 2 in the morning line, was third beaten 5 lengths last time out in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill.
Uncontested, the 2 to 1 favorite, finished officially 4th but in a virtual tie for third with Warrior’s Club last time out after setting the pace through 6 furlongs to get beat the same 5 lengths.
Trained by Wayne Catalano, Uncontested was an easy winner in his debut at Keeneland last October and is sitting on three nice works at Oaklawn including back-to-back 5/8’s bullet moves.
Warrior’s Reward, trained by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, broke his maiden against winners in a 7 furlong restricted stakes at Churchill two back when adding blinkers for the first time. He’s had four 4 furlong works at Oaklawn in preparation for the Smarty Jones, but Lucas has a low stakes winning percentage and has already sent out 5 runners who haven’t hit the board since the meet opened on Friday.
Petrov, second choice at 5 to 2, has drawn the rail for trainer Ron Moquette who has 2 wins and 2 thirds from 5 starters at the meet since Friday.
A first out winner in his maiden opener two back at Churchill going 6 furlongs, Petrov rallied into second last time out in a 6f overnight stakes at Aqueduct. He’ll be making his first start going two turns in the Smarty Jones for local trainer Moquett who, despite his early success here on opening weekend, is 0 for 22 in stakes races on the year and is only 6% with horses going sprint to route.