Discreetness to Move Forward to Southwest Stakes
Multiple stakes winner Discreetness will be pointed for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 15 at Oaklawn, trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs said Wednesday morning.
Discreetness stamped himself Oaklawn’s leading 3-year-old with a neck victory over Gordy Florida in Monday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes under Jon Court, the trainer’s son-in-law. He earned a career-high 83 Beyer Speed Figure and 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for winning the 1-mile Smarty Jones, the first major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16.
Fires won in 2011 Arkansas Derby with Archarcharch.
“It’s hard to say,” Fires said, when asked to compare the colts. “But, I think Discreetness probably is close. They’re a little bit different type horse. Discreetness is a longer-striding horse.”
Archarcharch finished fourth as the even-money favorite in the Smarty Jones before winning the Southwest in his next start.
Discreetness set a stakes record in the Smarty Jones – 1:38.05 over a fast track – eclipsing the 1:38.15 set by Liberty Bull in the inaugural running in 2008. He raced third, just behind dueling leaders Toews On Ice and Gordy Florida, before moving four-wide toward the front turning for home. He finally edged past Gordy Florida on the outside in the final sixteenth of a mile.
Fires said Discreetness, tactically, was where he needed to be Monday because mile races at Oaklawn begin and end at the sixteenth pole in the stretch.
“You’ve got to be up close going to the three-eighths pole because you don’t have a long run to overcome them down the lane,” Fires said. “If you’ve got a horse that comes from off it, you better be up close and, hopefully, get to them down the stretch.”
Monday was the fourth time in nine runnings of the Smarty Jones that the 1-2 finishers were separated by a neck at the wire.
Discreetness was coming off a nose victory in the $250,000 Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 13 at Remington Park.
Jockey Jon Court recorded his first Oaklawn stakes victory as a 55-year-old when Discreetness edged Gordy Florida by a neck in Monday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones. Court and Hall of Famer Mike Smith are the only jockeys to win Oaklawn’s four Kentucky Derby prep races – Smarty Jones, Southwest (G3), Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1).
Monday’s victory was for Court’s father-in-law, trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs, and also came on wife Krystal’s birthday. Court, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000, also won Monday’s sixth race, an entry-level allowance/optional claiming sprint, aboard Sharm for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
“That was good that Jon could win a couple of races on her birthday,” Fires said.
The Smarty Jones was Court’s 3,935th career victory, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization, and pushed his career purse earnings to $96,602,740. Figures are based on North American races only. He rode his first winner in 1980.
“A lot of people ask me about retirement,” Court said. “That’s a topic that comes up quite regularly. But, fortunately for me, I feel like I’m well ahead of the curve as far as age.”
Even in the twilight of his career, Court said he doesn’t have to fight his weight, but has become a proponent of nutritional products.
“If wish I knew 20 years ago what I know now, and what I’ve learned,” Court said.
Court and the late Eddie Razo (2008 and 2011) are the only jockeys to win the Smarty Jones twice.
The 1-mile race was inaugurated in 2008.
Discreetness is the fourth Arkansas-owned horse in the last five years to win the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn, a $150,000 event that is the first of four major local preps for the Kentucky Derby.
Discreetness is owned by Dwight Pruett of Texarkana, who races under the Xpress Thoroughbreds banner.
Other recent Smarty Jones winners include Junebugred in 2012 (owned by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway), Will Take Charge in 2013 (Willis Horton of Marshall) and Far Right in 2015 (Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock).
Rosenblum owns Far Right in partnership with Robert LaPenta.
Will Take Charge went on to win an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion 3-year-old male of 2013.
Multiple stakes winner Hebbronville worked 6 furlongs out of the gate in 1:11.60 over a fast-rated surface Wednesday morning. Trainer Lynn Whiting said he’s pointing the 4-year-old for the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Jan. 30 at Oaklawn. … Take Charge Tressa, an unstarted 3-year-old half-sister to champion Take Charge Brandi, worked a half-mile out of the gate in :51 Wednesday morning for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Take Charge Tressa should be ready to debut around Feb. 1, Lukas said. … Arkansas-bred stakes winner Pistolpackinpenny will more than likely be bred to 2011 Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch rather than an attempt a comeback after an injury said trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs, who trains the 6-year-old mare for wife Penny. Jinks Fires also trained Archarcharch.
Source: Oaklawn Park