Von Hemel Duo Could Try Southwest Stakes
Photo: Coady Photography
Synchrony, left, running against Discreetness, right, in the Smarty Jones Stakes.

Trainer Donnie Von Hemel said Pin Oak Stable's Synchrony will "more than likely" make his next start in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 15 at Oaklawn Park.

In his last start Jan. 18, the Tapit   colt came in thirdtwo lengths behind Discreetness and Gordy Floridain the Smarty Jones Stakes. Synchrony had only one horse beaten after a quarter-mile, but steadily advanced toward the front along the inside during the second turn and was gaining on the leaders after switching to his right lead at the eighth pole.

LAMARRA: Discreetness Just Up in Smarty Jones

The mile Smarty Jones is the first of three local preps for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 16.

"You obviously want to win," Von Hemel said the morning of Jan. 20. "But I think, considering the track conditions and as slowly as we got away from the gate, he really waded up through a lot of traffic and was still trying to get something done at end. (We took) a lot of positives out of the race."

Discreetness was coming off a nose victory over the Von Hemel-trained Suddenbreakingnews in the $250,000 Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 13 at Remington Park.

Von Hemel said Samuel Henderson's Suddenbreakingnews remains under consideration for the Southwest and $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 20 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Both races are at 1 1/16 miles.

"If it's best for both of them to run here and not travel, then we'll probably run both of them here," Von Hemel said. "I'll reserve judgment on that."

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