3-year-old filly On Fire Baby, impressive winner of Grade 2 Pocahontas (replay | chart) and Grade 2 Golden Rod (replay | chart) will kick off the new year against colts in Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park today.
In a video interview her trainer, Gary Hartlage, said that he’s really “not worried” about the colts and that he thinks On Fire Baby could eventually give him his first Grade 1 win.
In addition to finding out if she’s competitive in open company sooner rather than later, the two-turn mile is better option for filly than the shorter Dixie Belle for 3-year-old fillies according to her trainer.
On Fire Baby is the only graded stakes winner in the full field, but two have won non-graded stakes: Jake Mo (Prairie Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows) and No Spin (Royal Glint at Hawthorne). Optimizer has run his last four races in graded company and was second in the Grade 2 With Anticipation at Saratoga over the turf. Laurie’s Rocket comes into the race off a game 2nd in Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds in December.
Will On Fire Baby remain just that? Grab the free past performance for the 2012 Smarty Jones Stakes courtesy of Brisnet.com and play along! The race is at 5:33 ET PM and TwinSpires offers 30 minutes of free live racing daily, or you could just sign-up for an account and play!
UPDATE: On Fire Baby ran a game third, wide throughout and fought in the stretch. First and second place finishers Junebugred and Reckless Jerry were both game, as one of our favorite Tweeters said, “Looks like Arkansas is going to be fun this year“… we agree!
In yesterday’s 6 1/2 furlong Grade 2 Santa Ynez at Santa Anita, Reenesgotzip won her second start by an impressive 7 3/4 lengths. (replay | chart). Despite being a little green and cornering wide going into the stretch, she took off when asked after laying down solid fractions on the lead. No word yet on her next start or any specific targets, but there are plenty of 3-year-old fillies to keep an eye on.
And don’t forget, the 2011 Eclipse Awards are tonight! You can watch the ceremony at DRF.com starting at 8pm ET. Be sure to check out our 2011 Eclipse Award Finalists section, where you can grab lifetime past performances and race results charts for all the finalist on a single page.