HOT SPRINGS, AR (OAKLAWN) - The 9-nine-year-old Humble Smarty taught his younger competition a thing or two Sunday when he grabbed the lead from the break and never looked back in winning the $60,000 Nodouble Stakes by 4 ¼ lengths.
Coming off an authoritative win Jan. 20, Humble Smarty was made the 6-5 favorite in the 10-horse field of Arkansas-bred colts and geldings. He shot out of the gate and proceeded to lead the group through fractions of 22 1/5 and 46 for the first half mile before extending his lead through the stretch and winning the six furlong race in 1:11 over a fast track.
Star North, who tracked the pace closely, made a mild bid at the top of the stretch, but proved second best. He finished one length in front of the fast-closing Breckenridge. Ran the Man, the longest shot on the board, closed out the superfecta.
"(Owner) Brett's (Creighton) done a great job with the old man," said winning jockey Alex Birzer. "He fired a big one last time (when winning Jan. 20) and he came right back and gave another huge effort. I ride him all the time and I think this may have been my 10th or 11th win on him."
The Nodouble was the 70th start for Humble Smarty, who has now won 17 times and earned $492,133. The Mutakddim gelding returned $4.40, $3.20 and $2.60.
Live racing resumes Thursday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. This will be the next time that jockey Calvin Borel can attempt career win #5,000 and trainer Steve Hobby can attempt career win #1,000. They each have one horse on the card.
Jerry Donaldson, trainer of winner Humble Smarty - "(Owner) Brett (Creighton) has been doing a great job with him. We know he likes this track. He's been showing that in his works here. We'll have to see what's next for him."
Alex Birzer, jockey of winner Humble Smarty - "Brett's done a great job with the old man. He fired a big one last time (when winning Jan. 20) and he came right back and gave another huge effort. I ride him all the time and this was my 11th win on him."
John McKee, jockey of runner-up Star North - "I was able to get into a good position and he settled real nice. When I asked, he gave me everything he had. We just couldn't outrun the winner."