Smarty Jones Stakes Preview

The Picks:

Best Bet – #10 On Fire Baby

Best Longshot – #12 Reckless Jerry

Top 4 – 10,6,12,8

About the Race:  The Smarty Jones is the first race in the elusive stakes series for three-year olds at Oaklawn Park.  Last year this race produced The Southwest and Arkansas Derby winner in Archarcharch, and it also produced the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile winner in Caleb’s Posse.  This year the field is extremely interesting, and could produce the same kind of stars that last years race did.

The Field:

1 Laurie’s Rocket (KY) – He’s ran against decent company, but hasn’t shown that he’s ready for the big time yet.  I’d pass on him this time.
2 Junebugred (KY) – He was an impressive maiden winner at Aqueduct, but is this too much for him to handle today?  I think so.
3 Prince Cheval (IL) – He has the same sire as Animal Kingdom, but that’s about the only thing the two have in common.  Not likely to have an impact today
4 No Spin (KY) – He’s been solid so far, but I think he’s a bit out-classed in this field.  When he’s stepped up against better competition, he hasn’t fared well.
5 Fastestwhogetspaid (ON) – Hawthorne shipper looks a little out-classed in this tough field.
6 Optimizer (KY) – This will be the shortest race of his career, and I don’t think the mile suits him well.  I think we’ll see him at his best when the races get longer  He’s a contender, but I wouldn’t bet him to win.
7 Copus (IL) – Looks to be way out-classed.  Probably a total throw out.
8 Jake Mo (KY) – I’m kind of on the fence with him.  He’s been defeated soundly when facing tough competition.  I do think the distance suits him well so I give him an outside chance.
9 Hard Nosed (KY) – I like the breeding with this one but he hasn’t shown much.  I’d pass if I were you.
10 On Fire Baby (KY) – It’s strange that she is already running against males, but I do think she’s the right choice in this one.  Her two Stakes wins at Churchill Downs were very impressive and she’s training great over this track.
11 King Coral (KY) – Not sure he fits into this group, looks like an allowance type horse to me.
12 Reckless Jerry (KY) – This colt really has never done much wrong, and has had some “iffy” trips in prior races.  This post position won’t do him in favors, but I think he’s a colt that’s improving and might jump up and pull a big upset.

4 comments on “Smarty Jones Stakes Preview

  1. First off all congrats on knowing it all. That’s a very nice talent to have when playing the races!

    I wouldn’t say that Optimizer is overated simply because there isn’t a lot of buzz around him yet. It’s hard to be overated when you aren’t “rated” to begin with. I’m very skeptical that he will excel at one mile, but I do think he’s going to be a factor later in the season. He’s bred to go long and he’s been running fast at the end of all his races except the Breeders Cup. Does he really like the dirt? That’s another issue. He’s been training pretty well at Oaklawn so maybe he’ll take to the track.

  2. I agree. Hard to be overrated when not rated to start with. I saw this horse in person at the BC and while wasn’t impressed, I am intrigued to see what he can do with added distance.

  3. It’s hard for me to take the Breeders Cup races too seriously when talking about 2 year olds that are turning 3. Lots of times the 2 year olds that run well in those races are “early bloomers” and the rest of the pack catches up with them once they develop. It seem injuries are another problem with horses that run in those races. Hanson, Union Rags, and even My Miss Aurelia will have to show me something this season before I get on their band wagon. No denying they had great years in 2011, but they are meaningless to me when talking about 2012 and the triple crown.

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