J. Paul Reddam’s sophomore colt Pavel was impressive in winning Monday’s Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx, galloping away from the field under a hand ride from Mario Gutierrez to win by six lengths. The son of Creative Cause, trained by Doug O’Neill, covered 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:42.27 for his first graded stakes victory.
Favored Colonelsdarktemper broke on top the field to take the lead along the rail, nearly two lengths in front of Battalion Runner and Pavel through fractions of :24 1/5 and :47 4/5. Those two were followed by Bonus Points on the inside and Talk Logistics.
Colonelsdarktemper’s lead began to shrink approaching the far turn as Pavel and Talk Logistics both threatened to make their moves. Gutierrez showed Pavel the whip and he moved up alongside Colonelsdarktemper with ease.
At the head of the lane, Pavel had a half-length advantage. Colonelsdarktemper tried to fight back, but Pavel skipped away under a hand ride. Gutierrez checked under his arm and, seeing no one coming, hand-rode the colt to a six-length victory. Talk Logistics got up for second over Colonelsdarktemper, and Bonus Points checked in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and Brereton Jones, Pavel was a $ 90,000 weanling at the Keeneland November sale. He broke his maiden at first asking, then shipped to Saratoga to run fourth in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes. The Smarty Jones is his third career start, and earns him a free nomination, entry and start in the $ 1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby. Pavel has won two of his three outings for earnings of over $ 240,000.
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