12/14/2010 3:37PM

Grant Jack targets Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn

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Dustin Orona Photography
Grant Jack wins the Springboard Mile on Saturday night at Remington Park.

Grant Jack has made his way to Oaklawn following a win in last Saturday night’s $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park and is to begin his 3-year-old season in the Arkansas track’s $100,000 Smarty Jones on Jan. 17.

“That will be his spot,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Grant Jack for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch.

The Smarty Jones, at one mile, is the first significant 3-year-old stakes of the Oaklawn meet that opens Jan. 14. Grant Jack became a stakes winner in the Springboard, one start after running second in the $100,000 Clever Trevor at seven furlongs at Remington on Nov. 6. He was a maiden special weight winner at Hoosier Park in September.

“He’s a horse that’s been on the improve,” Calhoun said. “He’s one that body-wise, physically, and everything, has just improved every month over the past several months. He’s getting better all the time.”

Grant Jack, a son of Harlan’s Holiday, was a $65,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland last September. He tracked the pace in third in the Springboard and then closed for a one-length win to earn a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 79. Calhoun said the horse shipped to Oaklawn on Monday, and in addition to running at that track would also come under consideration for some of the 3-year-old stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

“He’ll run in one of those two places, if not both places,” Calhoun said.

Grant Jack has now won 2 of 6 starts and $199,425.

Decisive Moment eyes Delta return

Decisive Moment, who shipped in from his Calder Race Course base and ran second in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 20, could return to the Vinton, La., track next month, trainer Juan Arias said.

Decisive Moment is being seriously considered for a start in the $250,000 Jean Lafitte on Jan. 14. The one-mile race had been a prep for the Jackpot, but this meet it was moved on the calendar. After the Jean Lafitte, there is a chance Decisive Moment’s connections will look at the 3-year-old stakes program at Oaklawn.

“There’s options,” Arias said. “We’re going to go step by step.”

Arias would like to see Decisive Moment advance to the Kentucky Derby. The horse probably secured his spot in the starting gate in the Jackpot, when he picked up $200,000 in graded earnings for finishing second to Gourmet Dinner. Decisive Moment was beaten 2 1/4 lengths and earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 89. He is a son of With Distinction and races for Just for Fun Stable.

◗ Delta will not conduct live racing next week in observance of Christmas.