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Jan 13, 2012

Filly to face the boys in Smarty Jones


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Oaklawn Park's series for three-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby trail will get underway on Monday, January 16 with the running of the $100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. The mile event was won last year by eventual Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile champ Caleb's Posse.

While the field for the Smarty Jones won't be filled until Saturday, a filly has been readied for the race. On Fire Baby, owned by Anita Cauley, is expected to take on her male counterparts in the stakes.

"She's so ready," said trainer Gary 'Red Dog' Hartlage. "She just looks so good and comes home so easily."

On Fire Baby, with regular jockey Joe Johnson in the saddle, worked Tuesday morning in 1:02 1/5 over five-furlongs at Oaklawn Park. She was caught for six-furlongs in 1:14 2/5 and 1:28 for seven-furlongs.

"Joe says she dropped about a foot when he shook the reins at her," said Hartlage. "She really got down on her belly, leveled off and dug in for this work."

The filly has won three of four starts including victories in the Pocahontas and Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs. After winning in her first career start at Ellis Park in August, On Fire Baby finished fifth at 40-1 in the Alcibiades Stakes in October at Keeneland.

On Fire Baby has earned $227,329 in her four starts.

The Smarty Jones Stakes is named for the 2004 champion three-year-old colt who won the Arkansas Derby along with the Run for the Roses and Preakness Stakes.

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