Racing News

Smarty's Echo sports blinkers in half-mile Lecomte breeze

  • Smarty's Echo (Keeneland Photos)

Windy Hill Farm's Smarty's Echo worked a half-mile in company Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, centerpiece event of the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day at Fair Grounds.

The chestnut son of Smarty Jones was caught in :48 4/5 over the fast main track.

"That work went really well for us," trainer Anne Smith said, speaking outside her barn later in the morning. "I don't know if the clockers caught them both or not, but I know what I got him in.

"He worked in blinkers and that seemed to help him focus a little bit. I think now that we'll run him in blinkers in this race coming up. James Graham was aboard for the move today. The other horse broke on top but 'Smarty' caught up to him before the wire.

"The other horse is a little more mature than 'Smarty' is at this time," added Smith, known locally for preparing Windy Hill's Nates Mineshaft to win Fair Grounds' Mineshaft and New Orleans Handicaps two years ago at the Crescent City oval. "'Smarty' is still just a little bit too playful. Athletically, he is very talented and now we're trying to get him to focus a little better to utilize that talent."

Smarty's Echo has only made four starts so far in his career and all were last year during his juvenile campaign. He finished third in his career debut over grass at Arlington, then came back to break his maiden by a head on September 6 over that Chicago oval's Polytrack. Moving on to Keeneland -- again on Polytrack -- for the October 5 Breeders' Futurity, the Kentucky-bred colt finished second, beaten less than three lengths despite being steadied early and then racing wide.

However, his next started in Santa Anita's Breeders' Cup Juvenile was a total disappointment where he was far back throughout before finishing 10th, beaten 16 lengths.

"I don't even like to talk about that race," admitted Smith, who came up under two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Carl Nafzger. "It was his first start on dirt and a whole bunch of other things went wrong. The owners (Windy Hill's father-son duo of Pete and Scott Reiman) were very disappointed.

"Hopefully, we've put that race behind us now," she concluded. "I was really encouraged by the way things went this morning."

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos


California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.