09/01/2010 5:11PM

Smarty Jones day at Parx Racing


The long awaited new grandstand at Parx Racing, formerly Philadelphia Park, will be unveiled Friday afternoon during the Bensalem, Pa., track’s final Happy Hour program of the season. First post is 3 p.m. Eastern.

On the first floor, there are new seating areas, some equipped with personal handicapping desks, a sports bar, flat screen TVs, new food and beverage options, and easy paddock and apron access.

Labor Day has been designated Smarty Jones Day, honoring the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. A statue of Smarty Jones will be unveiled and a special commemorative coin will be given to the first 5,000 customers.

The racing program will feature the first running of the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, a mile and 70-yard race for 3-year-olds, which is designed as a prep for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 25. The Labor Day card also includes the $250,000 Turf Monster Handicap, the track’s top race for turf sprinters.

Among the nominees for the Smarty Jones are the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Colizeo and Exhi. Colizeo most recently was third in the Barbaro at Delaware Park and prior to that, won the Grade 3 Northern Dancer at Churchill Downs. Exhi is coming off a runner-up finish in the West Virginia Derby.

Trainer Wesley Ward has nominated Pleasant Prince, winner of the Ohio Derby at Thistledown.

Possibilities for the five-furlong Turf Monster include Chamberlain Bridge, who most recently won the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National, and Stradivinsky, who has been off since winning the Grade 3 Jaipur at Belmont Park in July.