Tanzanite Cat is on the Kentucky Derby trail after winning the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn (Photos courtesy of Coady Photography).
Tanzanite Cat was the latest horse to earn 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby when he won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes on Monday at Oaklawn Park.
Ridden by Norberto Arroyo, Jr., Tanzanite Cat broke on the lead early in the race but was happy to let Walt pass him down the backside, sitting close behind the leader in second. The two duked it out in the stretch but Tanzanite Cat finally got took the lead back late in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The Graeme Hall son covered the mile in a time of 1:38.69 with Walt finishing second and favored Coastline finishing third.
With the win, Tanzanite Cat puts himself on the Kentucky Derby trail a little over a month and a half after breaking his maiden by four lengths at the Fair Grounds. Tanzanite Cat is the seventh winner of the race, as the Smarty Jones was first run in 2008, and joins multiple Grade 1 winner Flat Out, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Caleb’s Posse, and most recently, 2013 Champion 3-year-old colt Will Take Charge as winners of the race.
The Smarty Jones is the beginning of Oaklawn Park’s Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series that culminates with the Arkansas Derby on April 12.
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TANZANITE CAT'S CONNECTIONS CELEBRATING IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE