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Hot Springs, Ark. (Monday, Jan. 18, 2016) – Xpress Thoroughbred’s Discreetness began his 3-year-old season in the same way he ended his juvenile year – by winning a stakes. Ridden confidently by jockey Jon Court, Discreetness wore down a determined Gordy Florida late to win Monday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes by a neck. In the process, he earned 10 points towards eligibility for the Kentucky Derby and is now ranked 12th on the list of 20 potential starters.
Longshot Gordy Florida broke sharpest of all and proceeded to take the field through early fractions of :23 2/5 and :47 4/5 for the first half mile, while being tracked closely by 3-5 favorite Toews On Ice and Discreetness. The favorite gave way at the top of the stretch as the front runner and eventual winner began their stretch long duel to the wire. The winning time was 1:38 for one-mile over a fast track.
“He broke well and we were in the race, in the hunt early and actually just had a dream trip,” said Court. “It’s good when it comes together like that. I was keeping an eye on the speed horses on the front, of course the Baffert horse, and those were the only two I had to contend with and it worked out today. We have an optimistic outlook with this colt, he’s really moved forward steadily over the last couple of months and we just hope he continues to move forward over the next couple of months to the other big races on his agenda. I’ve ridden a lot of special horses for Jinks and he’s definitely in the upper caliber group.”
Synchrony, the 3-1 second choice, was last early, but made up ground late to get third. He was followed by Luna de Loco, Gray Sky, Toews On Ice, Charming Deputy, Shogood, Force It, Black Ops and Back Togetheragain. Cutacorner, Knights Key and Whitmore were scratched.
Discreetness, a Discreet Cat colt, has now won four of six career starts and has now earned $282,122. He returned $20.20, $7.00 and $4.20 at odds of 9-1.
The Smarty Jones is Oaklawn’s first race in its four-race series culminating with the $1 million Arkansas Derby April 16. The next race in the series is the $500,000 Southwest Stakes Monday, Feb. 15, Presidents Day.
Live racing resumes Thursday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.
Smarty Jones Quotes:
Winning trainer Jinks Fires, Discreetness – “Going a mile here, if you’re not 1-2-3, or very close at the three-eighths pole, it’s hard to make that up. We decided to ask him a little early because if you get shuffled back around that turn, it’s hard to make it up down that short stretch going a mile.”
Winning owner Dwight Pruett, Discreetness – “We felt like we could be competitive in the race. We’ve got a great trainer, a great jockey and a great group of people back at the barn that help us every day. And a good horse, apparently.”
Winning jockey Jon Court, Discreetness – “He broke well and we were in the race, in the hunt early and actually just had a dream trip. It’s good when it comes together like that. I was keeping an eye on the speed horses on the front, of course the Baffert horse, and those were the only two I had to contend with and it worked out today. We have an optimistic outlook with this colt, he’s really moved forward steadily over the last couple of months and just hope he continues to move forward over the next couple of months to the other big races on his agenda. I’ve ridden a lot of special horses for Jinks and he’s definitely in the upper caliber group.”
Trainer Kenny Smith, second with Gordy Florida – “He ran a great race. This was a nice bunch of horses. He ran his eyeballs out.”
Shaun Bridgmohan, third aboard Synchrony – “I thought he ran well for his first race as a 3-year-old. The track got away from him a little bit and I was a bit further back than I anticipated but he finished up with a lot of encouragement and should get better from here on out.”
Donnie K. Von Hemel, trainer of third-place finisher Syncrony – “We were a little further back than we would have expected going into the race. (Jockey) Shaun (Bridgmohan) said the track was getting away from him a little. He was catching a lot of dirt. But, he waded his way through there. At the end, he was running with the best of them. It was definitely a good place to start. It was a race we could build on.”
Jockey Martin Garcia, sixth on favorite Toews On Ice – “It just wasn’t our day today. He was really happy in the post parade today and he broke really well and we were just cruising along. When I asked him to go at the 3/8ths pole, he didn’t want to go. It wasn’t him today.”
Source: Oaklawn Park
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