by Brian Nadeau
Oaklawn Park: The $150,000 Smarty Jones at 1-mile (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 10-4-2-1)
Bob Baffert may have a wing in the Oaklawn Hall of Fame one day, as he’s shipped in countless 3-year-olds over the years to take home the hardware in their lucrative sophomore series, and this year looks no different as #4 MOURINHO seems the best of a modest group, as this Super Saver colt was second in a GIII at Santa Anita last time behind classy repeat winner Greyvitos and seemingly can be placed anywhere. The main danger is obviously #1 COMBATANT, who drew well and chased the aforementioned Greyvitos home in the Springboard Mile for Asmussen, who appears to have a talented son of Scat Daddy on his hands. It’s unlikely #2 LONE ROCK can beat the top pair, but he is the only one entered with a run over the track, which is never a bad thing, and Van Meter is usually patient too, so to see this Majestic Warrior colt entered says he’s confident that he’ll give a good account of himself.
The rest look far below the top-2, but #5 ARCHED FEATHER showed marked improvement stretching out to two turns at Churchill Downs last fall, and as a son of Arch, he has a right to move forward with added age and experience for an under-the-radar Frederick barn.
NOTE: Second-choice on the morning line, #6 NAVISTAR, is scratched, as is #2 LONE ROCK.
#2 Lone Rock Arched Feather
(h/t to Brian Malloy for the info that Lone Rock ran on Friday and scratched today)