Smarty Jones Stakes 2020: Odds and analysis for Saturday's race

January 17, 2020 04:07pm
Smarty Jones Stakes 2020: Odds and analysis for Saturday's race
Photo: Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park

The $150,000 Smarty Jones marks the first stop on Oaklawn Park's road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby, offering qualifying points [10-4-2-1] to the Top 4 finishers. The one-mile opening Friday feature attracted a field of nine 3-year-olds to the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack.

Here is a full analysis of the Smarty Jones field with a projected morning line by Horse Racing Nation. Slated as Race 8 of 9, the Smarty Jones has a 4:52 p.m. ET post time.
 

1)
Lykan [ML 30-1 – Congrats – I. Mason/T. Thompson – 7: 1-0-3 - $59,175] With only a maiden victory at Keeneland, which came in his fifth start after a series of races on the Arlington Park synthetic, Lykan is up against it in this kind of accomplished field. His seven starts do not include any races beyond seven furlongs, and he's lost twice when facing winners since that lone victory. Toss.  

2)
Silver Prospector [ML 3-1 – Declaration of War – S. Asmussen/R. Santana Jr. – 6: 2-0-2 - $255,551] Having started with three races on the turf, Silver Prospector didn't break his maiden until switching to the main track at Keeneland. On just two weeks' rest, he set the pace in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs before fading to finish third. He earned 10 Derby points when he used a long drive to edge ahead to win the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) defeating, among others, the Grade 1 winner Tiz the Law on a sloppy track. Vulnerable at short price.  

3)
Shared Sense [ML 12-1 – Street Sense – B. Cox/F. Geroux – 3: M-2-0 - $41,550] This Godolphin homebred shows two second-place finishes in three starts, but he's faced Lynn’s Map and Silver Prospector. The Brad Cox runner was the favorite, too, in both of those defeats. His dam was un-raced, and Shared Sense is her first foal, although the second dam was a Grade 1 winner and produced several excellent runners. This is an ambitious spot for the maiden, although he is clearly an entry with potential. Possible board hitter.

4)
Nucky [ML 12-1 – Ghostzapper – P. Miller/J. Talamo – 7: 2-1-0 - $218,101] The seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity (G1) upsetter will look to get back on track after two distant defeats in the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita and then the Heft at Laurel. Remember, he got away in the Futurity when future Grade 1 winners Storm the Court and Eight Rings lost their riders at the start. Toss.

5)
Jungle Runner [ML 8-1 – Candy Ride – S. Asmussen/R. Vazquez – 5: 2-0-0 - $105,165] One of three in the field for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, he hit his best stride at Remington Park, where he broke his maiden going a mile in September and then moved on to win the Clever Trevor at seven furlongs. In the Springboard Mile, he picked up a Derby qualifying point when he finished a distant fourth. These look like deeper waters. Toss.

6)
Gold Street [ML 12-1 – Street Boss – S. Asmussen/M. Garcia – 5: 2-2-0 - $135,218] Racing strictly as a sprinter in five career starts, he broke his maiden in his fourth start on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs and followed that with another wet track victory in the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds. We could learn a bit about what he beat in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds. Toss.

7)
Shoplifted [ML 5-2 – Into Mischief – S. Asmussen/T. Gaffalione – 5: 2-1-0 - $82,890] The $800,000 2-year-old purchase lived up to his big pricetag when just four months after that auction he was a debut winner at Saratoga as part of an odds-on entry for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. He then ran second in the Hopeful (G1) behind his highly regarded stablemate Basin. The son of Into Mischief disappointed in two Grade 1 tries over a deep Santa Anita track but rebounded with a victory in the Springboard Mile, earning 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points after rallying from sixth and battling down the stretch. Win contender.

8)
Lynn’s Map [ML 4-1 – Liam’s Map – M. Casse/M. Mena – 3: 2-0-1 - $91,512] After running third in his debut at Churchill Downs, the $270,000 yearling purchase broke his maiden back under the Twin Spires against a full field while running a mile. Trainer Mark Casse sent him right back in a two-turn allowance at the Fair Grounds, where he won by a head defeating two horses that are in this field. After drawing the 14 post-position in the Lecomte, Casse may there for a more favorable draw at Oaklawn. Top choice.

9)
Three Technique [ML 6-1 – Mr Speaker – J. Englehart/I. Ortiz Jr. – 4: 2-2-0 - $124,750] Owned by Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells, Three Technique was highly regarded as an odds-on favorite in his June debut at Belmont. He was second in that race and then again when he was beaten by next-out Grade 1 winner Basin. In his third start, he found the Saratoga winner’s circle with a rallying five-length victory. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart gave him nearly three months off before an easy victory in an Aqueduct allowance leading into this spot. Use underneath.

Summary
: The Smarty Jones has drawn a solid field including five stakes winners, and two of them are graded stakes winners. However, my top pick is Lynn’s Map, who defeated a stakes-quality field in the allowance ranks. His three starts came since September, and Casse has him improving with each start.

Shoplifted, who was last seen winning the Springboard Mile, is the main threat to Lynn’s Map. I’m a bit dubious of the victory by Silver Prospector in the Kentucky Jockey Club when he got a clear trip over a sloppy track.


 

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