Six furlongs may suit Kowboy Karma
Larry Jones hoped to hit the jackpot with the 2-year-old colt Kowboy Karma. The $100,000 James F. Lewis Stakes on Saturday at Laurel will have to do.
Kowboy Karma will be favored to beat five foes in the Lewis, but would’ve been racing this month at Delta Downs in the $1 million Jackpot had Hurricane Harvey not led Delta to cancel its open stakes races this season.
Jones thought the tight turns and short stretch of Delta’s bullring racing oval would suit Kowboy Karma, a son of Kodiak Kowboy who might not be a true route horse.
“His daddy was a Grade 1 winner going a mile and placed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but I think this horse could be a better sprinter,” said Jones, who trained Kodiak Kowboy, and who bred and owns Kowboy Karma with his wife, Cindy. “He actually reminds me a lot of his daddy.”
Kowboy Karma has started once over the Lewis’s six-furlong distance, winning his debut at Delaware Park by more than 12 lengths. He won a minor Delaware Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs in August, went on to finish a troubled second going a twoturn mile in the Sept. 2 Sapling at Monmouth, and then ran his best race when fourth of 12 in the Grade 1 Champagne, a one-turn mile at Belmont. Kowboy Karma broke from the rail in the Champagne, had a somewhat troubled trip, and was beaten only three lengths by runner-up Good Magic, who returned with a smashing win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“It looks like we might have hooked a pretty good horse last time,” said Jones. “He came out of that race really good.”
Lewis Stakes entrant A Different Style was a sharp Parx Racing maiden winner last out, but Barry Lee looks like Kowboy Karma’s main competition. Barry Lee won the ArlingtonWashington Futurity on Polytrack two starts ago and, racing for the first time in blinkers, was second Oct. 14 in the Grade 3 Futurity at Belmont.
“These past two works he’s just been doing it in hand,” said trainer Horacio de Paz. “They’re probably the best works he’s had.”
Huge field in Smart Halo
Take Charge Paula is exiting a couple graded of stakes in the $100,000 Smart Halo for 2-yearold fillies, but Jehozacat could be the horse to play on Saturday.
Take Charge Paula is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the six-furlong Smart Halo, a race in which prices should abound since 13 horses were entered. Trained by Kelly Breen, Take Charge Paula won her first two starts this summer, didn’t stay at all when stretched to two turns in the Pocahontas at Churchill, and was second last out in the Grade 3 Matron sprint on Oct. 15 at Belmont.
Jehozacat stumbled at the start in a stakes flop two races back, and was sharp wearing blinkers last time, a secondplace finish at Keeneland in a first-level allowance.
“I love the fact we’re coming back from seven furlongs to six,” said trainer Arnaud Delacour. “She was much more professional last out with blinkers.”