Turning Point

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Smart Transition isn’t the only 3-year-old colt that is also the first foal of a hugely successful racemare in trainer John Shirreffs’ barn, nor is he the most well known.

That spot belongs to Cozmic One. He’s the first foal out of Horse of the Year, three-time champion older female and $7,304,580-earner Zenyatta. Winless in two starts, he isn’t close to following in his mother’s footsteps although he deserves a pass because, seriously, who could?

The career of Smart Transition is on a better track.

The first foal of the Brazilian-bred Zardana enters today’s $100,000 Curlin Stakes with a victory and two placings in five career starts. She shared Shirreffs’ barn with Zenyatta and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Life Is Sweet, earning a stripe with a victory over Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in 2008.

Smart Transition, 5-1 fourth choice in the field of seven for the Curlin (today’s fourth race) that probably won’t stay together due to cross entering, also looks to post an upset in the race for 3-year-olds without a graded stakes win in 2015.

“I really like Smart Transition because he’s out of Zardana,” Shirreffs said outside his barn on the Oklahoma Training Track Thursday morning, unclipping his Tipperary riding helmet minutes after hopping off his stable pony. “This is her first foal. He’s a really nice horse and it’s been fun to have him.”

To read the rest of the Curlin Stakes preview, download Friday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.