01/18/2016 8:05PM

Discreetness edges Gordy Florida in Smarty Jones

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Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park
Jon Court celebrates aboard Discreetness after winning the Smarty Jones on Monday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Discreetness struck first in Oaklawn Park’s series for 3-year-olds on Monday, when he rallied for a neck win over Gordy Florida in the $150,000 Smarty Jones. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third to Synchrony.

Toews On Ice, the 3-5 favorite off his runner-up finish in the Los Alamitos Futurity, dueled for the lead early and finished sixth.

Discreetness, Gordy Florida, Synchrony and fourth-place finisher Luna de Loco all earned Kentucky Derby eligibility points Monday, on a sliding scale of 10-4-2-1. The Smarty Jones was the first of four points races run at Oaklawn, with the next offering the Grade 3, $500,000 Southwest on Feb. 15.

Discreetness ($20.20) is a candidate for the Southwest, according to his trainer, Jinks Fires. Discreetness won his second straight stakes race in the Smarty Jones, having taken last month’s $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park.

Discreetness closed from well back in that race, but was closer to the pace on Monday, settling in third as Gordy Florida and Towes On Ice dueled through fractions of 23.46 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.81 for the half-mile and 1:12.43 for six furlongs. Discreetness advanced around the final turn and overtook Gordy Florida late in the one-mile race, which ended at the sixteenth pole at Oaklawn.

“Going a mile here, if you’re not one-two-three or very close at the three-eighths pole, it’s hard to make that up,” said Fires. “We decided to ask him a little early because if you get shuffled back around that turn, it’s hard to make it up down that short stretch going a mile.”

Discreetness covered the distance on a fast track in 1:38.05. Jon Court was aboard Discreetness for owner Xpress Thoroughbreds. 

“We have an optimistic outlook with this colt,” said Court. “I’ve ridden a lot of special horses for Jinks and he’s definitely in the upper-caliber group.”

Court and Fires combined to win the 2011 Southwest and Arkansas Derby with Archarcharch, the sire of Toews On Ice. Toews On Ice has won three stakes, all in Southern California. He shipped into Oaklawn on Wednesday.

“It just wasn’t our day today,” said jockey Martin Garcia. “It’s not him today.” 

Discreetness earned $90,000 for the win in the Smarty Jones. He is a son of Discreet Cat and he was bred in Kentucky by Trackside Farm and Tenlane Farm. Discreetness has won four of six starts. He has earned $282,122.

An American Pharoah bobblehorse giveaway helped draw an estimated crowd of 12,500 to Oaklawn on an overcast, 39-degree day. Handle on the nine-race card from all sources was $3.3 million. Monday capped the first week of the meet, which resumes with a live card Thursday.