11/02/2012 12:40PM

Laurel: Unbeaten fillies Jax and Jill, Power Lady meet in Smart Halo

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
The speedy Jax and Jill, shown winning a four-furlong allowance at Timonium in August, will have her stamina tested in the six-furlong Smart Halo.

Jax and Jill, unbeaten and untested in four starts in three states, and Power Lady, a dominant winner in each of her two starts in Pennsylvania, will clash in Saturday’s $125,000 Smart Halo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Laurel Park.

Jax and Jill, trained by Scott Lake, will be racing beyond 4 1/2 furlongs for the first time in the six-furlong Smart Halo. She cruised to a 5 1/2-length win in the Triple Crown Nutrition on the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program at Charles Town two weeks ago. She also has scored front-running wins at Parx and Timonium. Her dam, Rain Song, won 12 of 22 starts and $293,272 in her racing career, including the two-furlong Rocket Man in Florida.

“Rain Song was fast," said owner Robert Cole, who bred the multiple stakes winner to Frank De Francis Memorial Dash winner Yes It's True. "There was a time Lake believed she was the fastest horse he had ever trained. Now he thinks Jax and Jill is the fastest. We were offered $12,000 for Rain Song but she was so talented we decided to breed her and take advantage of the West Virginia program."

Cole said he would feel more comforable about Jax and Jill's chances if the Smart Halo were a little shorter distance.

“I don’t know how anybody is going to beat her going 5 1/2 furlongs or less," Cole said. "I wish this race was 5 1/2 because I would be super confident. Stretching out to six could be tough but she is going to the lead and we hope to hold on."

Power Lady has crushed her opposition by a combined margin of 19 1/2 lengths in easy wins at Penn National and Parx for trainer John Servis. She has the advantage of having won twice at the precise distance of the Smart Halo. Power Lady is a half-sister to Grace and Power, who won 2 of 8 starts and $249,361 in her brief career, including a stakes on turf.

The eight-horse field also includes Baby J, a New York-based filly who was third in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga and second in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies candidate Kauai Katie.