Two days of wet weather caused trainer Kenny Smith to hold off working Reckless Jerry, but the trainer says they're ready for the Grade III Southwest now. And Ken McPeek has enlisted Terry Thompson to ride Atigun in the race.
“I think we caught a lot better surface by going today,” said Smith after sending the son of Cactus Ridge a half-mile in :49.80 over a track rated good. “Based on the last three days, I know we made the right call. Now it’s time to get tied on for Monday.”
Smith is excited to reload Reckless Jerry (Worth Watching) after an unlucky wide trip and a second-place finish to Junebugred in the Smarty Jones last month. Under jockey Shane Laviolette, the colt started from the outside post 12 and was parked at least five-wide for the whole one-mile trip.
“He’s ready to go. I didn’t worry about (the post) last time. There’s nothing we can do about it this time, either, other than keeping him on go like this.”
Reckless Jerry is two-for-six -- with close second-place finishes in his last two starts. In addition to the Smarty Jones, he was runner-up to Ted’s Folly in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in December.
McPeek Looks for Atigun to Step Up
Ken McPeek hit town Wednesday to oversee his Oaklawn string, including Atigun (Worth Watching).
Under Oaklawn leading jockey Terry Thompson, the son of Istan breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40 Wednesday yesterday despite a muddy track.
“I canceled the work for Tuesday because I was afraid of how chopped up the track was,” said McPeek. “Then the rain came (Wednesday), so I was worried, but we got a sealed, sloppy track, and he went fine.”
The trainer is based in South Florida during the winter but sent a string of horses to Oaklawn for the first time in many years this season, many for John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf outfit.
McPeek said Thompson has become a fan of the colt and will take the call in the Southwest. Atigun won an optional allowance Jan. 15 at Oaklawn.
--Edited Oaklawn Park release