Happy New Year and happy birthday to all thoroughbreds! The first Kentucky Derby Points race of the meet is the Smarty Jones Stakes, which is also the first Derby Points race for three year olds. Ken McPeek, who was red hot yesterday, winning both stakes races and four races altogether, sends out a pair of runners who will be trying to take the heavy favorite from Brad Cox. First post for the first card of 2023 is 12:30 (CT). On a personal note, a stomach bug going around the house was not the way we had intended to ring in the new year. I’ve attached the grid for my selections and linked the horse by horse analysis for the Smarty Jones, but I haven’t had the time or energy to write up each race. If things calm down here throughout the day, I’ll add some thoughts for the races from my notes. If not, I’ll be back with the normal analysis for Friday.
I’ll be covering this exciting meet on the ITM Blog, along with posting some updates and thoughts from time to time on Twitter @EricSolomon718. Feel free to reach out!
|Race||Top Pick||A||B||C||Exotics Menu|
|2||14||14||5,11,13||4||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|5||4||4,8||9||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|6||1||1,4,5||7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 8: The $250K Smarty Jones Stakes:
While it’s not very creative, I do think Victory Formation (#8) is going to be very tough to beat in this race. He’s bred to get the distance after two strong efforts in sprint races against strong fields in Kentucky. I think Angel of Empire (#7) is a live longshot and Ten Days Later (#5) is the better of the two McPeek horses entered in this race. My horse by horse analysis of this race, which is covered on the ITM blog, is linked below.
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