Discreetness Just Up in Smarty Jones
Photo: Coady Photography
Discreetness wins the Smarty Jones Stakes.
Discreetness, owned by Dwight Pruett's Xpress Thoroughbreds, rallied from just off the pace to win the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds Jan. 18 at Oaklawn Park. Watch Replay
It was the second consecutive two-turn stakes victory for Discreetness, who in December won the Springboard Mile at Remington Park. The colt by Discreet Cat out of the Elusive Quality   mare Fondness is trained by William "Jinks" Fires and was ridden by his son-in-law Jon Court.
Gordy Florida, undefeated in two starts, and Toews On Ice, a three-time stakes winner who finished second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) in December, battled through fractions of :23.46 for the opening quarter-mile and :47.81 for a half-mile before Discreetness joined them three-wide past six furlongs in 1:12.43. Gordy Florida put away the heavily favored California shipper but couldn't hold off Discreetness, who covered the one mile in 1:38.05 on a track rated fast.
Discreetness, bred in Kentucky by Trackside Farm and Tenlane Farm, paid $20.20 to win. Gordy Florida was a neck back in second, followed by a rallying Synchrony and Luna de Loco.
"Jon and I had talked before the race," Fires said of the short stretch run in one-mile races at Oaklawn. "Going a mile here, if you're not first, second, or third at the three-eighths pole it's hard to make up ground, so we decided to ask him a little early."
Xpress Thoroughbreds paid $105,000 for Discreetness at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March 2-year-olds in training sale. The colt now has earned well in excess of $282,122.
"We felt we could be competitive," Pruett said. "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."
The goal for Discreetness is the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 16 at Oaklawn Park.
Court said Discreetness broke well and got a "dream trip" in the Smarty Jones.
"It's good when it comes together like that," Court said. "I was keeping an eye on the speed horses on the front, and those were the only two I had to contend with. We have an optimistic outlook with this colt; he has really moved forward steadily over the last couple of months. We just hope he continues to move forward over the next couple of months to the other big races on his agenda."
Kenny Smith, trainer of Gordy Florida said the colt "ran a great race. This was a nice bunch of horses. He ran his eyeballs out."
"We were a little further back than we would have expected going into the race," trainer Donnie Von Hemel said of Synchrony. "(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."
Said Martin Garcia, who rode Toews On Ice to a sixth-place finish for trainer Bob Baffert: "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 three-eighths pole, he didn't want to go."

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