Pavel blows away Smarty Jones S. (G3) field

Pavel, a 3-year-old Creative Cause colt, couldn’t have looked better in his stakes debut on Labor Day when he dominated the $300,000 Smarty Jones S. (G3) at Parx by six lengths (VIDEO).

Pavel, who was a TDN Rising Star after his 4 1/2-length maiden special weight debut on July 1 at Santa Anita, is the sixth stakes winner this year for Creative Cause, tying him for the top spot on the Second-Crop Sire list.

Ridden very patiently by Mario Gutierrez, Pavel moved up from third to challenge for the lead with three furlongs to run. Without Gutierrez even asking, Pavel powered to the front and widened throughout the stretch despite basically being eased in the final sixteenth of a mile.

He covered the 1 1/16-miles in 1:42.27 and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

“I had a good trip,” Gutierrez said. “He is very young in his career but has matured so much. He doesn’t get nervous when the other horses put him in tight. He will relax for you and go when you ask him.” 

Trainer Doug O’Neill said Pavel would be under consideration for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1), also at Parx, on Sept. 23.  

Pavel has earned $242,400 for Reddam Racing. The gray/roan colt is a half-brother to multiple Grade 2 winner Caracortado and Rushaway S. winner He’ll Pay.