With the national holiday on Monday, many will be celebrating or remembering Martin Luther King Jr. However, if you are near Hot Springs Arkansas and Oaklawn Park you just might want to swing through and check out the 2015 edition of the Smarty Jones Stakes.
While not graded, it is a stakes to honor the great Smarty Jones who was a locally raced horse that went on to take the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The race will be run at a mile on dirt and some 2015 Kentucky Derby hopefuls will be in the field.
Race: Smarty Jones Stakes
Location: Oaklawn Park
Distance: 1 mile
Age: 3 Year Olds
Date: Monday, January 19, 2015
Post Time: 5:38 PM EST
TV Coverage: Can be found on TVG (online) and HRTV
|1||6-1||Far Right||Smith||Only missed the board once in 6 lifetime starts and that was in the G2 Futurity. 3rd last out in the Delta Down Jackpot throwing up a 99. Continues to progress.|
|2||20-1||Paid Admission||Mello||Broke maiden last out after 4 tries in a MSW 28K at 6 1/2 furlongs. Plus is he won well clear by 5. Rapid development does not make it impossible.|
|3||2-1||Mr. Z||Court||Making the start expected to run the Arkansas Derby trail. Has not won since breaking maiden in June but battle tested at 2. 7 consecutive graded stakes starts. 3rd and 2nd last two throwing a 107 and 105. Cutting back slightly to a mile. Probable class of this field.|
|4||15-1||American Sailor||Rocco Jr||2-for-4 lifetime including an impressive allowance win by 5+ last out. Stepping up here but appears that if he can handle the layoff since October there is a shot.|
|5||9-2||Hebbronville||Bridgmohan||Started career with a MSW win and followed it up with a 6+ length win in a 67K allowance. Entered graded competition with an impressive 2nd in the G2 Futurity. Rough start and eased in last. Throw it as a learning experience and he is right there.|
|6||5-1||Lucky Player||Santana Jr||Winner of the G3 Iroquois at 2 but unimpressive in the BC Juvenile and Jockey Club. Santana keeps the mount and there is talent in here. He just has to get it out.|
|7||9-2||Bayerd||Vazquez||Winner of 3 of last 4 including 2 stakes although at RP. Never popped over 100 but battle tested with a couple of close victories. Contender here with a step forward at 3.|
|8||6-1||Private Prospect||Birzer||Started career with 3 wins including 2 lower level stakes. 2nd in a G2 and a non-factor in the BC Juvenile. Still time to mature but at first glance it appears he prefers shorter than a mile.|
|9||30-1||Runaway Bling||Corbett||On the plus side, won MSW 3 back by 2 3/4. On the downside it was on turf and he has looked abysmal the last two. Get him off the dirt and you might have a decent one here. But on the dirt and here it just might be a miracle to hit the board.|
Note: Odds will be updated once M/L is released.
Smarty Jones Stakes Breakdown and Betting
The Smarty Jones should not disappoint this Monday. You have a handful of horses here with a real shot to win. Not to mention, you have nine horses that are making their 3 YO debuts. Who will mature? Who already peaked? Who needs this race? Predictions in a race like this is always a challenge.
It is never easy to tell but the eyeballs tend to lean to a couple more than others. Mr. Z is the clear money maker here along with Bayerd but they will be see a large amount of the handle. When looking at a first 3 YO race it is hard to take a real short price.
Lucky Player returns to a level more suited based on history. While not impressive in the last two, it can be argued that he did not develop fast enough. He already holds a grade three win which bodes well against many in here. However, a long pole in the tent here is whether he takes well to two turns. I am betting yes in a field he can handle.
On the other side is Hebbronville. I am willing to throw out the break and easing last out. I can chalk it up to 2 YO nerves and learning. He had a solid MSW win and a very impressive allowance score. He quickly was promoted to G2 talent and represented very well. The works have not looked bad and the gate should be less of an issue now. There is a real chance here.
Below is how I would play $20 and $50 at the 2015 Smarty Jones Stakes. Keep in mind there is an eye to value here. As always, if you have to scrounge up to find $5 or $10 for the race I would pass and just watch. Pay the bills and enjoy the day. Don’t forget, this is supposed to be fun.
|$1 Exacta Box||1 with 5 with 6|
|$1 Trifecta Box||1 with 5 with 6|
|$4 Win/ Place||6|
|$2 Exacta Box||1 with 5 with 6|
|$ 1 Trifecta||1,5,6 with 1,3,5,6|
|$.10 Superfecta||5,6 with 1,3,4,5,6|
|$2 Win/ Place||6|
|$2 Win/ Place||5|