Dwight Pruett of Xpress Thoroughbred's $105,000 investment Discreetness rallied up the outside at odds of 9-1 to win Monday's $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. The sophomore made his first step toward the Kentucky Derby a winning one at Oaklawn Park, earning 10 points toward a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
““He broke well and we were in the race, in the hunt early, and actually just had a dream trip,” said veteran jockey Jon Court. “It's good when it comes together like that.”
Discreetness broke sharply, and was allowed to settle in third just behind the heavily favored Toews on Ice and longshot Gordy Florida engaging in a speed duel on the front end. The latter was the fastest out of the gate, striking out to a :23.46 opening quarter. Toews on Ice took over to set the half-mile split of :47.81, as that pair opened up a several length gap on Discreetness and the rest of the field.
Rounding the turn for home, Court moved Discreetness up the outside to challenge for the lead just as Toews on Ice dropped out of the running. Gordy Florida provided a stiff challenge for the son of Discreet Cat, but Court and the Jinks Fires trainee doggedly prevailed to cross the wire in 1:38.05 in the one-mile contest. Gordy Florida was a neck back in second, while 1 3/4 lengths back Synchrony closed moderately, changing leads late to willingly finish third. Luna de Loco was fourth.
“We decided to ask him a little early,” said trainer Fires, “because if you get shuffled back around that turn, it's hard to make it up down that short stretch going a mile.”
Bred in Kentucky by Trackside Farm and Tenlane Farm, Discreetness was first sold as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, hammering for $67,000. Out of an unraced daughter of Elusive Quality, the colt was consigned to the OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training by Royal Thoroughbred International, where he was purchased by owners Xpress Thoroughbreds. The Smarty Jones marks the second listed stakes victory for Discreetness.
In his most recent start, Discreetness prevailed by a nose in a gutsy victory in the Remington Springboard Mile, following a defeat in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs by the LeComte-winning Mo Tom, as well as second-place LeComte finisher Tom's Ready.
“We have an optimistic outlook with this colt,” continued jockey Court. “He's really moved forward steadily over the last couple of months and just hope he continues to move forward over the next couple of months to the other big races on his agenda. I've ridden a lot of special horses for Jinks and he's definitely in the upper caliber group.”
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