04/05/2013 2:45PM

Oaklawn Park: Humble Smarty seeks elusive dirt-route win in Arkansas Breeders' Stakes

Coady Photography
With four stakes wins, Humble Smarty is the class of Sunday's Arkansas Breeders' Stakes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Humble Smarty has accomplished a good deal in his career, with four stakes wins, 17 victories and earnings of $494,883. But the 9-year-old has never won a route race on dirt, something he could be favored to do Sunday at Oaklawn in the $60,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes.

Humble Smarty is the undisputed class of the 10-horse field of Arkansas-breds. The question is whether he can get the race’s 1 1/16-mile distance. A number of his rivals are proven at the trip, including The Mallard Man, who won the Arkansas Breeders’ two years ago at Oaklawn, and Brassy and Proud, a 7 1/4-length winner at the distance March 10.

Humble Smarty has made nine starts at two turns during his 71-race career and has won one of those races. The score came on turf in a $15,000 starter allowance going 7 1/2 furlongs at Remington Park in August 2010. Another notable two-turn effort from Humble Smarty came last September, when he was second to multiple stakes winner Skip a Smile in a one-mile allowance, also on the grass at Remington.

Humble Smarty, owned by Brett Creighton and trained by Jerry Donaldson, is by Mutakddim, who won at distances of up to about seven furlongs. His dam is Humble Danzig, a maiden special weight winner at 7 1/2 furlongs on grass at Louisiana Downs who also ran second in a two-turn stakes on dirt, the 2001 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway.

Alex Birzer has the mount on Humble Smarty, who has won 2 of 3 starts at the meet, including the $60,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes at six furlongs in February. The horse comes off a fourth-place finish to the Count Fleet-bound Justin Phillip in an Oaklawn allowance March 21.

The Mallard Man has done his best work at two turns. In addition to winning this race in 2011, he was second in the Arkansas Breeders’ in 2012. Calvin Borel has the mount for Five Star Racing and trainer Al Cates.

◗ Reckless Jerry, who was part of the 3-year-old stakes program last year at Oaklawn, launches his season in the second race Sunday. He faces eight others in the second-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.

The race will be Reckless Jerry’s first since running second in the Delp Memorial at Delaware Park last May. Prior to that, he had run second in last year’s Smarty Jones at Oaklawn and third in a division of the Grade 3 Southwest won by Castaway. Shane Laviolette has the mount for trainer Kenny Smith.