Expert Pick of the Week: Smarty Jones Stakes

Jan 21, 2020 John Mucciolo/

A total of nine sophomores will try to acquire points on the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby at Oaklawn Park on Friday in the $150,000 Smarty Jones. The field is led by a quartet of 3-year-olds from the barn of Steve Asmussen, and I will tab one for success in the event which offers points on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

Mike McCarty's Gold Street kicked off his career with a lackluster ninth-place run in a maiden special weight event at Ellis Park in August. But the bay colt has been a different animal following his first appearance, finishing first or second in all four starts following his debut. The son of Street Boss is the Expert Pick of the Week.

Gold Street was second to sharp winners in a pair of races following his debut, and he enters the Smarty Jones with two wins in succession since, including a facile score in the Sugar Bowl S. at Fair Grounds.

The sophomore was bred in the Bluegrass State and has improved his Brisnet Speed figure with each career performance. His stakes win last time out was his best yet, when he tracked the pace and pulled clear in the stretch en route to a 3 1/2-length tally. In the process, Gold Street earned a solid 94 Brisnet Late Pace number to suggest that he will handle the one-mile test on Friday.

The top pick has the positional speed to be put into the race early with new pilot Martin Garcia. The colt will commence his run approaching the turn for home while getting the jump on the closing types. And he will be a square price as well.

A pair of other contenders caught my eye in the well-matched field. Lynn's Map exits a game allowance victory at Fair Grounds over a well-meant field. The Mark Casse trainee is showing steady improvement and could be set for a big run in his stakes bow.

New York shipper Three Technique has been well handled to this point by trainer Jeremiah Englehart. The talented colt has been first or second in each of his four career engagements and is poised for a solid effort in his initial stakes venture.

Expert Pick

An exacta with Gold Street on top of Three Technique and Lynn's Map is the Best Bet of the Week. 

(Coady Photography)

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