Smarty Jones Stakes 2019
How does a horse qualify for the Kentucky derby?
Established in 2012, the Kentucky Derby points qualifying system, known simply as "The Road to the Kentucky Derby," established a newtwork of key prep races at major U.S. tracks and a few select international venues. The winner 1st-4th place finishers of these designated races earn points, with the top 20 earners officially qualifying for a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
Minor point races are scaled at 10-4-2-1, with more prestigious prep races weighted as heavy as 100-40-20-10. The 2019 Kentucky Derby post time is tentatively sheduled for Saturday, May 4 at approximately 6:45 ET.
2018 Kentucky Derby winner Justify used the big race as a springboard towards becoming just the 13th Triple Crown winner in thoroughbred racing history. The big chestnut emerged from relative obscurity following his key prep win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in April to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in succession.
Here's a look at the 2018 Kentucky Derby results:
- Justify $7.80 $6.00 $4.40
- Good Magic $9.20 $6.60
- Audible $5.80
Smarty Jones Stakes Odds
This year's Smarty Jones features a field of 9, with trainer Steve Asmussen holding an obviously live hand. Asmussen will saddle the 1-2 finishers from the $400,000 Springboard Mile Dec.16 where Long Range Toddy (4/1) edged stablemate Bankit (7/2) by a head in a driving finish to the wire. Interestingly, Long Range Toddy was 18/1 in that race and Bankit was a shade over 3/1.
Morning line favorite Gray Attempt (5/2) won the Sugar Bowl Stakes Dec.22 at Fair Grounds in fast time, but will be racing beyond six and a half furlongs for the first time in his three-race career. The speedy son of Graydar out of a Consolidator mare is only moderately bred to handle additional distance and trainer William Fires is just 6% with the sprint-to-route angle. The short stretch configuration at Oaklawn for 1-mile races could work to his favor however.
Here's a look at the field:
- 1-Long Range Toddy 4/1
- 2-Sleepy Eyes Todd 20/1
- 3-Super Steed 9/2
- 4-Six Shooter 6/1
- 5-Boldor 8/1
- 6-Forloveofcountry 12/1
- 7-Bankit 7/2
- 8-Gray Attempt 5/2
- 9-Jack Van Berg 20/1
Picks and Previews
This race looks to be loaded with front-end speed. Jack Van Bergy and Gray Attempt should duke it out early, and they'll likely have company close in tow from the plethora of stretch-out sprinters. I wouldn't be surprised to see Long Range Toddy and Bankit form the exacta again, but I'll give a slight nod to Bankit in this sport.
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