The $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) will be run Friday at Oaklawn Park for 3-year-olds going a two-turn mile on the main track. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has four of the nine entries.

Top Smarty Jones Stakes Picks

  • 2 Silver Prospector
  • 8 Lynn’s Map
  • 9 Three Technique
  • 6 Gold Street
  • $15 Exactas:
    • 2 with 6, 8, 9
  • $5 Exacta:
    • 8 with 2

#1 Lykan took him five starts to break his maiden but the first four came on Polytrack at Arlington Park. He ran evenly in his next two starts going short on the dirt at Churchill Downs and now stretches out to two turns from the rail. He does have a little bit of gate speed and could be part of the early pace.

#2 Silver Prospector did little in his first three career starts which came on the turf. He romped at Keeneland going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt then came back with a terrific effort going a one-turn mile at Churchill where he battled for the lead every step and only succumbed in the final yards. Last out, he won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) going two turns on a sloppy track when he came from off the pace. Son of Declaration of War has been training well and gets Ricardo Santana Jr. back aboard – 23% riding for Asmussen.  

#3 Shared Sense ran one-paced in his career debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland behind Silver Prospector. He came back at Churchill Downs next out going a one-turn mile and just missed as the lukewarm favorite. After those two starts, I’m not sure why they wanted to try turf next out, but the race was rained off and he was a disappointing second as the odds-on favorite. Now, he tries stakes company as a maiden but he certainly has a stout dirt pedigree.

#4 Nucky was exposed to a $75,000 price tag in his second start and there were no takers. Two starts later, he broke his maiden for $100,000 at Del Mar, and he was able to handle the move up in class when taking the Futurity (G1) going seven furlongs. Nucky was awful next out on the deepish Santa Anita main track then tired badly going seven furlongs at Laurel last out. Well-bred son of Ghostzapper looks like a toss, but Peter Miller can be very dangerous when you least suspect it.

#5 Jungle Runner broke his maiden at Remington Park in his two-turn debut third time out then won a stakes race there going seven furlongs.  He lost all chance there in the Springboard Mile when he was caught in early traffic and now tries to make amends. Son of Candy Ride just doesn’t seem to be as good as the other Asmussen trainees.

#6 Gold Street did nothing in his career debut then improved enough to break his maiden on a sloppy track in his fourth career start. He came back at the Fair Grounds last out and won a sprint stakes race, and now stretches out to two turns for the first turn. The son of Street Boss should be the first to get through the clubhouse turn with Martin Garcia aboard for the first time.

#7 Shoplifted looked fantastic when he broke his maiden first time out in fast time going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga. From there, he was put on the fast track but could not break through in three straight starts against Grade 1 company. Last out, he won the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in a very professional performance, and Shoplifted will be a stretch factor.

#8 Lynn’s Map ran third in his career debut going seven furlongs then broke his maiden going a one-turn mile at Churchill. He was a game winner last out when overcoming a rough start, rallying to score over a sloppy track at the Fair Grounds. The horse he caught, Mr. Monomoy, came back and ran well in the Lecomte (G3) last week and earned a Brisnet Speed Rating of 92. After drawing post 14 in the Lecomte, Lynn’s Map was scratched by trainer Mark Casse and sent to this spot.

#9 Three Technique has been favored in all four career starts for Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm. Second in his first two career starts, he broke his maiden at Saratoga going seven furlongs in a faster time than the Hopeful (G1) a few days later. Three Technique came back from a freshening to easily beat allowance foes at Aqueduct, and Jeremiah Englehart shipped him early to record four works over the track.