Caddo River sails to victory in Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones Stakes

Son of Hard Spun vaults to number two on the TDN Derby Top 12

Caddo River took command right out of the starting gate and was never threatened as he cruised to an impressive 10-and-a-quarter-length victory in the Listed Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park January 22. This stellar performance sees him claim the number two spot on the TDN Derby Top 12 list just behind 2020 Eclipse Champion Essential Quality and at the number six position on the Blood-Horse's Derby Dozen. Caddo River is due to start next in the G2 Rebel Stakes on March 13th.

The three-year-old Hard Spun colt has now won two of four starts and secured 10 points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Making his sophomore debut for owner-breeder Shortleaf Stable, Caddo River was making his Stakes debut in the Smarty Jones. The dark bay/brown colt broke his maiden in his previous start, a nine-and-a-half length romp going a mile at Churchill Downs last November.

Caddo River picked up right where he left off last season, breaking alertly from the gate under jockey Florent Geroux and quickly establishing a two-length lead. The colt steadily increased his lead on the backstretch and into the far turn, eventually crossing the wire over 10 lengths in front of runner-up Cowan.

Caddo River was bred in Kentucky and is out of Pangburn, a Stakes-winning daughter of Congrats. Pangburn, who also placed in the G2 Pocahontas and G3 Iowa Oaks, is out of Stakes winner It’s True Love and is a half-sister to Eres Tu (G3 Allaire DuPont Stakes).

Caddo River is one of over 80 career Black Type winners for his sire, Hard Spun. In 2020, Hard Spun sired such standouts as Antoinette, winner of the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational; Black Ops, winner of the Budweiser Special Handicap; Spinoff, winner of Saratoga’s Alydar Stakes and G2-winning filly, Hard Not to Love.

Hard Spun will stand the 2021 breeding season at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky for $35,000 stands and nurses.