Harry Rosenblum and Robert LaPenta’s Uncontested was just that in Monday’s $ 150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park, splashing through the sloppy going with ease to win by five lengths on the wire. The sophomore son of Tiz Wonderful covered the mile in 1:36.32 under Channing Hill; trainer Wayne Catalano now a serious contender on the 2017 Kentucky Derby trail as Uncontested scored 10 points with his victory, bringing his total to 11 (fourth on the Derby points leaderboard).
Breaking from the sixth slot in the starting gate, Uncontested got under way cleanly and simply out-geared his fellow sophomores heading into the first turn. Hill allowed Uncontested to kick away a length clear, then drift down toward the inside rail to save all the ground. He was tracked by Romeo O Romeo, Petrov and Love That Lute three wide across the track through a first quarter in :23.04.
Loping down the backstretch all on his own, Uncontested maintained an easy 1 1/2-length advantage as Petrov moved up the rail into second. After a half in :46.21, Jose Ortiz began to ask Petrov for a bit more run approaching the far turn. Uncontested began to move away all on his own, with Hill sitting as still as stone atop of the saddle.
Petrov was the only colt to keep within striking range of Uncontested entering the stretch, but a quick flick of the whip from Hill had Uncontested gliding away easily down the center of the track. Uncontested finished under wraps approximately five lengths in front of Petrov. Rowdy the Warrior check in third, and Warrior’s Club was fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Richard Forbush, Uncontested was a $ 20,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. An easy winner first out at Keeneland, the colt wheeled back five weeks later and wound up finishing fourth in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club behind McCraken. The Smarty Jones is Uncontested’s first stakes victory, and brings the colt’s record to two wins from three starts for earnings of over $ 130,000.
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