The race offers 50-20-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers. That 50-point bonanza to the winner means whoever crosses the wire first is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky […]
Illinois' A Step Ahead in Smarty Jones
In what is looking to be a very competitive race, Coastline has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $150,000 Smarty Jones stakes at Oaklawn Park on Monday […]
In what is looking to be a very competitive race, Coastline has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $150,000 Smarty Jones stakes at Oaklawn Park on Monday afternoon. The Smarty Jones is the first of three prep races for three-year-olds prior to the Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby, which in turn acts of one of the final prep races before the Kentucky Derby and the start of the chase for the US racing Triple Crown. The Smarty Jones has drawn a field of 10, racing a flat mile on the dirt.
Tough start for Coastline in last
With four starts on his resume, the Kentucky-bred Coastline has two lifetime wins, including a three-length victory in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill in October, in a race where two others that finished behind him have come back to win. Last time out, however, he was eighth as the favorite in the Grade III Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes after stumbling coming out of the gate. The 9-2 second choice for the Smarty Jones is Son Of A Preacher, who will be making his stakes debut, after a second three weeks ago in a AOC race.
Illinois challenger comes in sharp
If experience counts, Whyareuawesome (12-1) comes into this with three graded stakes efforts in five lifetime starts. After breaking his maiden first time out in June, he came back to run second in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity Stakes. He was well back in the Grade III Bourbon, and was fifth in the Delta Jackpot at more than 50-1. Illinois-bred A Step Ahead is also at 12-1, and comes into the Smarty Jones off a second place finish in the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity where he improved his position late despite being fanned five wide.
The field is set for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, and looking at the 13 rivals on paper is enough to make any serious handicapper's mouth water. There's simply a ton of betting value here.
Post positions have been drawn, and the oddsmakers have instilled Omaha Beach as the morning line favorite for the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. The race goes Saturday, May 4th, with 20 runners set to battle 1 1/4 miles on the Churchill Downs dirt track, chasing a purse of $3 million and the first leg of the US Triple Crown.
The defending champ is back in the field for the 2016 Arlington Million on Saturday, but he's being overshadowed by a strong group of foreign invaders.