FULSOME RALLIES TO TAKE G3 SMARTY JONES
Fulsome went worst to first to win Tuesday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx Racing. The two-length victory helped erase the bad taste of his prior start, when he was third at 2-5 in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
The win, Fulsome’s second in Grade 3 company, could set him up for bigger things. The Smarty Jones is the local prep race for next month’s Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby September 25.
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The early running of the 1 1/16-mile Smarty Jones belonged to The King Cheek. The Jamie Ness trainee, winner of the May 15 Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, led by 1 ½ lengths after a half-mile in a sharp 46.75 seconds.
Fulsome, meanwhile, was loping along in sixth and then fifth early under Florent Geroux. He was 5 ½ lengths back after that opening half.
Rounding the turn he began to engage, circling the field to reach contention. Wider yet in the lane, he surged clear to win by two lengths in 1:45.57 over a fast main track.
Alonzo, who pressed the early pace and led after three quarters, held on to be second, just a half-length ahead of The King Cheek, who stayed on willingly.
The win was Fulsome’s fifth in seven starts this year and his third in stakes company. He’s won four of five starts since being switched from turf to the main track.
Trained by Brad Cox for Juddmonte, the Into Mischief colt now has career earnings of $582,024.
There were two other stakes on the Parx card that serve as preps for bigger races down the road.
In the $150,000 Cathryn Sophia, Lovely Ride was dead game in posting a front-running score by a half-length over local hopeful and post time favorite Leader of the Band. The Candy Ride filly, trained by Bret Calhoun, was ridden by Reylu Gutierrez. She now has four wins from six career starts, with this her first stakes triumph.
The Cathryn Sophia is the local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion.
And Beren, most recently seen fading from the scene in a nine-furlong race at Saratoga, made the most of the cutback to six furlongs – and a four-horse field – to win the $100,000 Parx Summer Sprint by six lengths.
Beren, a winner six times in nine starts this year, earned his fourth career stakes victory. The Pennsylvania-bred is trained by Butch Reid for Chris Feifarek and St. Omer’s Farm.
Next up could be the Grade 2 Gallant Bob on the PA Derby undercard.