Two-time stakes winner Discreetness, who captured the Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn Park, will be pointed to the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 15 at Oaklawn, trainer William "Jinks" Fires said the morning of Jan. 20.
Discreetness stamped himself Oaklawn's leading 3-year-old with a neck victory over Gordy Florida in Monday's Smarty Jones under Jon Court, the trainer's son-in-law. He earned 10 Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points for winning the one-mile Smarty Jones, the first Oaklawn prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 16. Fires won the 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.
Xpress Thoroughbreds' 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 during the inaugural running in 2008. The son of Discreet Cat 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.
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.