KYD148 Points, Jerome, Smarty Jones, and Sham Stakes: What you need to know ...

Trainer Bob Baffert celebrated another victory in the Sham S. at Santa Anita. But that was not the only KYD148 Points race on the docket this Saturday. Catch this rundown below ...
Trainer Bob Baffert celebrated another victory in the Sham S. at Santa Anita. But that was not the only KYD148 Points race on the docket this Saturday. Catch this rundown below ...

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The KYD148 Road was defined even further on Saturday, as fans of the sport of horse racing had the pleasure of witnessing not 1, not 2, but 3 contests that would yield 10-4-2-1 to the top runners. These "Points" will be applied to each individual horse's total, and get them one step closer to obtaining one of those coveted spots in the starting gate on what has come to be known simply as "Derby Day." Here is the rundown ...

Jerome S. @AQU

At Aqueduct Racetrack, it was Kelly Breen's Courvoisier #6 who outlasted them all enroute to a signature victory. The colt rated nicely through the first 1/2 mile, and was in an excellent striking position. Jockey Jose Ortiz realized how much horse he had left. By the time the top of the lane arrived, he was in sole possession of the lead, and it was time to take it home. Taking a step forward, it was impressive, especially considering Cooke Creek #1 was such an overwhelming favorite. At odds of 4/1, Breen's son of Tapit was fit, and ready to take on some very difficult track conditions ... sloppy. The old adage, "clean faces, win races," held true in the Jerome S., bringing this runner 10 pts. At odds of 21/1, Smarten Up #5 (4pts.), Cooke Creek #1 (2pts.), and Unbridled Bomber #2 (1pt.) hit the board. Next up @AQU, Withers S. - Feb. 12 (10-4-2-1) ...

Smarty Jones S. @OP

At Oaklawn Park, a massive field of 13 went a mile on the dirt, looking for KYD148 Points. This was a competitive affair, and though Brad Cox's Home Brew #3 garnered favoritism at 2/1, it was not a foregone conclusion that he would score. The track conditions were less than favorable, since Hot Springs experienced quite a bit of rainfall over the course of the past couple of days. At the break, it seemed as though Dallas Stewart's Ben Diesel #14 had a head of steam. Looks can be deceiving, as the pace went to pieces as the field arrived at the top of the stretch. In the end, it was David Cohen's mount, Dash Attack #1, who made it into the 4-path, kicking on for home in fine style. Trained by Kenny McPeek, the colt by Munnings was a nice 8/1 on the tote. The victory gives the Kentucky-based conditioner yet another possible Derby contender with those coveted 10 points. As for the rest of "minors," it was, Barber Road #10, Ignitis #5, and Kavod #4, who scooped up the remaining scraps. Next @OP, Southwest S. - Jan. 29 (10-4-2-1) ...

Sham S. @SA

At Santa Anita, it was a short field on Saturday afternoon, but that did not mean there was not suspense and drama. Coming into this year's Sham S. bettors were particularly interested to see Doug O'Neill's Mackinnon #1 make the surface switch from turf to dirt. A highly-regarded colt, and thought to be in peak physical condition based on his recent works, he was even money when the betting began. Of course, Bob Baffert was ready to take another Sham prize, as he entered a pair of runners who were both owned by SF Racing et.al. Newgrange #3 and Rockefeller #4 were well-bet just before this race went off, but it was the latter that became the short-priced "favorite" once the bell sounded. Right from the start, it was jockey John Velazquez aboard Newgrange #3 who took control. He really never looked back. Controlling the fractions up front, much as he did aboard Medina Spirit in KYD147, Johnny V ably guided his mount around a pair of turns. Into the lane, he distanced himself from the field, giving the HOF conditioner another "G" score. Of course, Baffert cannot receive Derby Points, due to his 2-yr ban by Churchill Downs Inc. That means that only Keith Desormeaux's Oviatt Class #2 (2pts.), and Mackinnon #1 (1pt.) collected. Baffert will have to await his fate, either by appealing or transferring his charges to another barn. Whatever the case, his colt by Violence (a horse that was once in his care), celebrated the victory. Next @SA, Robert B. Lewis S. - Feb. 5 (10-4-2-1) ...

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