Tapiture , take control of this race midway on the far turn and as he straightened for home turned on the jets to roll to a 4 1/4 length win in today’s $300,000, GIII Southwest Stakes, for 3yo, at 1 1/16 mile over a “fast” Oaklawn Park main track!
Strong Mandate, came 2nd, by those 4 1/4 lengths but did have early traffic tbl’s after a slow start leaving him too much ground to have to make up, 3rd went Ride On Curlin, back another 6 full lengths and a 1/2 length in front of Coastline, who filled out today’s super!
$300,000, GIII Southwest Stakes, 3YOs, at 1 1/16 miles (dirt) ( Race #9, Post time 5:09 p.m. CST).
The 3yo action picks up in earnest here at Oaklawn Park on this President’s Holiday Monday as a big field of 12 runners will go to the post for this final 10-4-2-1 Derby Points race of the prep season!
Strong Mandate , at 2/1, by Tiznow, was a good 3rd after holding the early lead last out in the B/C Juvenile just 2 off of New Years Day (now retired) and Havana who has yet to make his 2014 debut. 3 back he won the GI Hopeful by more than 9 lengths but in his first try at 2-turns in the GI Champagne Stakes he started and finished 7th! Tends to want to go early but needs to be more patient if his to make any noise at Churchill on May 3rd!
Tapiture , at 3/1, by Tapit, is the winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill last fall, winning by 4 1/4 lengths, going 1 1/16 mile in 1:43.2 in pretty much a front running score. More early speed here too!
Ride On Curlin, at 6/1, by Curlin, is an interest 3rd choice here by the Oaklawn handicapper who might be having flashbacks to the day’s of yester year when dad running them off their feet here in ’07. He is a winner of a 6f alw tussle last out over some off going but sports a close 3rd in that same GI Champagne Stakes and was 3rd again in the Street Sense Stakes 2 back. Tends to be more of a closer type by again no graded wins.
Coastline , at 8/1, by Speightstown, won that same Street Sense Stakes 3 back with a nice early stalking trip than motoring off to a solid 3 length win at the line. Tried 2-turns in the GIII Delta Downs Jackpot finishing a well-beaten 8th after a stumbling start. But he came up empty in the stretch of the Smarty Jones Stakes here last out with no punch at all in the lane, thus the 8/1 odds here! He too seems to like being in the early vanguard!
Tanzanite Cat , at 8/1, by Graeme Hall, won that same $150k Smarty Jones Stakes here last out stalking nicely behind the early front-runner in Walt , to score a withering 1 1/4 length win. This one also would enjoy a good early placing on the front end of this GIII that looks to be chock full of early runners! He’ll be paired with Paganol , by Tiz Wonderful, who has but a 6f mdn diploma to his credit in a 1- race career!
Louies Flower , at 12/1, by Flower Alley, comes in off 3 straight wins at Remington Park including a last out, up in time, victory in the $250,000, Springboard Mile Stakes. He is another one who likes a good stalking or front-running early trip. We love the pedigree and the 3 straight wins here but might not be in the same class here as some of he others but for 10 cents we’d add him to the back-end of a dime super play, especially at a big price!
Kendall’s Boy , also at 12/1, by Sky Mesa, who 2 back was rank in the GI Breeders Futurity at Keeneland finishing dead last and was essentially eased cantering home 30 lengths back. He rebounded with a good effort in a Jan 11th $50k 1x Oc at 6f wiring that field with a 2 lengths win in 1:10.4. Another possible early front-runner here on monday as this race could be just setting up for a giant pace collapse with all this early heat.
Walt , at 15/1, by Run Away and Hide, was the early speed in that same $150k Smarty Jones Stakes here last out where surrendered an early stretch lead to Tanzanite Cat, but did manage to bravely hold on for 2nd. He is an early speed too but 2 back did come late for 4th in that same $250,000, Springboard Mile Stakes so it might be wise for this one to lay back early!
Bourbonize , at 15/1, by Tiz Wonderful, is undefeated in a pair of mdn and Alw tests and unlike much of the rest of this group is a closer. Might be worth be weight in gold here as a closer, but super him only for now.
Fire Starter , at 20/1 by Tapit and Son of Dixie at 30/1, by Dixie Union, round out this field of 12, 3yo’s as both are but Mdn winners. They both however, do have solid connections and pedigrees, so if you’ve got 2 dimes in your pocket then add both to the back-end of a 10 cents super play for a race that may have a very strange ending to it, besides how much fun can you have with 20 cents anymore !!!
So, lots and lots of early speed here for this 2014 edition of the GIII Southwest Stakesas this will be the very last 10-4-2-1 Derby Points race of the 2014, 3yo season as next weekend we’ll roll into the Championship Series at the Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park where the big Derby Points can be mined!
Come rain or shine, fast or sloppy tracks, Bob Baffert just keeps them coming here at Oaklawn, as this year’s star 3yo pupil inSuper Ninety Nine, (101 Beyer for this slop filled outing) slipped on the heavy-weather gear, then geared up for a sloppy but visually impressive wire to wire 11 1/4 length win in today’s $300,000, GIII Southwest Stakes, going a soggy 1 1/16 mile, for 3yo’s only!
Fear the Kitten, surged from the back of the pack to be those 11 1/4 lengths for 2nd at 22/1, 3rd went to Heaven’s Runway, at 59/1 was back another 2 1/4 lengths and 2 1/4 lengths in front of 48/1 shot inChannel Isle, to fill up the super spot that paid a marvelous $4,588.60 for a buck!
The $300,000, GIII Southwest Stakes, for 3yo’s only, going a new further distance this year of 1 1/16 mile over the Oaklawn main track this coming President’s Day Monday and is the first of 3 2013 Derby Trail tests here at this venerable thoroughbred racing venue at Hot Springs, Arkansas!
The Southwest Stakes is also the very last of the new 10-4-2-1 preseason Kentucky Derby points format races set up by the ruling class at Churchill Downs for at least 2013. So the last 10 points in this final preseason Derby Trail race will go to the winner here on Monday.
Coming out for this initial Derby Trail test at Oaklawn Park this year will be,
Super Ninety Nine, out of Pulpit and a Unbridled’s Song mare, is the Bob Baffert trainee for this race here in the Baffert colony east! This one clicked off a mile in 1:35 flat last out in a Santa Anita $58k alw tilt clearing the field by more than 3 lengths at the wire!
A Baffert horse in a Oaklawn Derby trail race, exotics here!
Will Take Charge, is another Unbridled’s Song heir, trained by D. Wayne Lukas and was the winner of a tight 3-horse finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes here last month.
Drew top weight here on Monday for this 2013 Smarty Jones Stakes winner most be something in the air here and most be in your exotics thinking too!
Texas Bling, out of Too Much Bling, has an amazing 11-race resume already to his name and is a kind of throwback 3yo to years gone by, finished 2nd by just a neck in the Smarty Jones Stakes here last out! Exotics here, as well!
Always In A Tiz, by Tiznow, took the 3rd spot back another “head” in that same Smarty Jones Stakes here last out coming late on the outside. Just a 3-race resume here so plenty of room for improvement! This one’s an exotics pick too!
Brown Almighty , out of Big Brown, came 5th back 5 lengths in the Smarty Jones here last out as well. He’ll have to find some of that Derby, Preakness and Haskell winning blood of dad’s to move up here on Monday! Super this son of Big Brown!
Fear The Kitten, out of Kitten’s Joy and a Dynaformer mare, is a name you’ve already heard this season, coming 3rd in the GIII Le Comte Stakes at the Fairgrounds last month, so super this son of Kitten’s Joy at the very least!
The pedigree here screams “turf horse” to us but Mike Maker and the Ramsey’s seem bent on another “Dirt” try for this fledging 3yo Derby hopeful!
Big Lute , out of Midnight Lute, gets a little love here from the Oaklawn handicaper at 6/1, owns but a single Msw win to his very brief resume, winning an Oaklawn Feb 1st, 6f Msw by 4 3/4′ lengths in a gearing down 1:10.2 winning time.
This one’s sire was best know for late bursts in his 2 Breeders’ Cup Sprint wins but was never a 2-turn horse. So for us, the blood isn’t right at this distance, so a super spot for him only!