Race Friday, March 16 at Oaklawn Parkwith the help of coach Kenny McPeek, get a taste of Triple Crown 2022.
McPeek is scheduled to send two people to the Triple Crown—happy smile And creative minister —in the $106,000 optional second claimant allowance for horses larger at 1 1/8 mile. Smile Happy, 2nd winner for Lucky Seven Stable, hasn’t started since finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last May at Churchill Downs. The Creative Minister, bets on Fern Circle Stables, finished third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and fifth in the Belmont Stakes (G1). The Innovation Secretary has not started since finishing sixth in the race to claim the option on October 20 at Keeneland.
“Unfortunately, they both fall under the same allowance and both are available at the same time,” McPeek said. “I’m reluctant to run them together, but really, in terms of development, it’s good for both horses.”
Smile Happy, a 2-1 favorite and the Creative Minister, pegged at 3-1, has settled into this winter and early spring at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New York. Orléans.
Smile Happy was one of the country’s top promising Kentucky Derbys last year after winning both games starting with a 2, including the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles, for a total length of 8 3/4. After finishing second in two major Kentucky Derby preparations to kick off its 3-year-old campaign, Smile Happy didn’t run again in 2022 after being beaten 10 by long by rich attack at the Kentucky Derby. McPeek said he was out of bone bruises.
“We took it out for a while at my ranch in Lexington and when we brought it back I was still not happy with the way it moved. Then we released it again and just let it go. it sits for a while. It’s good to come back this time. These things sometimes take longer than you think,” McPeek said. “The horse is really good and excited about it as a 4 year old and Creative Minister.”
After finishing third in Preakness, Creative Ministry also finished third in the $135,000 Curlin Stakes on July 29 at Racecourse Saratogaranked third in the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) on August 23 at The Parx . Raceand second, one shot, in the $275,000 Bourbon Trail Stakes at 1 3/16 miles on September 24 at Churchill Downs.
“We just stopped at him,” McPeek said. “He’s been through winter, spring, summer, fall and it’s just a good time for him to grow up a little bit.”
McPeek said if Smile Happy and the Innovation Secretary perform well on Thursday, they could be considered for the upcoming races at Oaklawn, Keenelandor Churchill Downs.
The probable posting time for Thursday’s eighth race is 4:22 p.m. CT.
This press release has been edited by BloodHorse Staff for content and style.