The Mountain Valley Stakes at Oaklawn Park helped Afleet Alex's career in 2005, and it could be a launching pad for another 3-year-old come this Saturday. At least two of the prospects for the race are stakes winners already.
Trainer Kellyn Gorder will enter Glint (Just In Case), a son lightly-raced son of Sharp Humor. The he bay colt has been working well at the track for his local debut. He broke his maiden at Hoosier Park last Fall by nine lengths, then followed that up with a three-length win over synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs late September's Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial going 6 1/2 furlongs.
Meanwhile trainer Benard Chatters has shipped in the three-times undefeated colt Smoke It Right for Saturday's race. Racing in south Louisiana, the dark bay son of former Oaklawn champion Smoke Glacken broke his maiden at Evangeline Downs by 12 1/2 lengths, followed that up with a score in the sloppy Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline by eight lengths, then tallied a romping allowance win at Delta Downs by 3 3/4 lengths.
Larry Jones may hav a good one in Keep On Giving, an Oaklawn allowance winner by over four lengths on Feb. 20. Keep On Giving races in the colors of Brereton C. Jones, for whom Jones has saddled a number of good young horses, including 2008 Eclipse Award winner Proud Spell.
In all, a total of 27 three-year-olds nominated for the race, and they can be viewed here.
Past performances of the nominees can be viewed here.
--Edited from track release with additional content by Dick Downey