8th-OP, $106K, OC 50k/N2X, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 5:22 p.m.
The Ken McPeek-trained duo of ‘TDN Rising Star’ SMILE HAPPY (Runhappy) and CREATIVE MINISTER (Creative Cause) kick off their 4-year-old seasons at Oaklawn Park Thursday.
Smile Happy, winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at two and runner-up as the favorite in last year’s GI Toyota Blue Grass S., makes his first start since finishing eighth in the GI Kentucky Derby. The 2-1 morning-line favorite gets first-time Lasix while facing seven rivals here.
Creative Minister, a respectable third in last year’s GI Preakness S., came within a nose of recording a career high in Churchill’s Bourbon Trail S. Sept. 24. He was a well-beaten eighth in an optional claimer at Keeneland when last seen in the fall. TJCIS PPs
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