GIII Southwest Stakes will be divided into “2” Divisions this President’s Day

Oaklawn Park scene of two, 2012 GIII Southwest Stakes races this Monday!

With 21 entries bursting this GIII Derby test at its seams, the Oaklawn officials are taking the extraordinary step of breaking up this race in two.

Free Past Performances,← for both race 8 and race 9!

In a rare use of the term “divisions” for within a single race, the 2012 GIII Southwest Stakes with its 21 entries will be run with 2 different fields or divisions, with equal purses of $250,000, going the same 1-mile distance, with separate win, place and show payouts etc,etc! The graded stakes earning towards a derby gate will also be equal for the both winners of each division, the same with 2nd’s, 3rd’s and so on!

So below you will find both divisional races and their entries,

By Posts, Horses, M/L Odds,

Division #1, Race #8, Post Time 4:41 pm cst!

1. Red Jack – 30/1

2. Unbridled’s Note – 10/1

3. Jake Mo – 15/1

4. Majestic Stride – 8/1

5. Longview Drive – 5/2

6. Junebugred – 7/2

7. No Spin – 20/1

8. Reckless Jerry – 9/2

9. Ring It Up – 20/1

10. Laurie’s Rocket – 15/1

11. Castaway – 5/1

Picks are – 3,5,6,10 box-exacta!

Division #2, Race #9, Post Time at 5:15 pm cst!

1. Z Rockstar – 20/1

2. Adirondack King – 6/1

3. Scatman – 6/1

4. Apprehender – 10/1

5. Chalybeate Springs – 30/1

6. Pee H Dee – 15/1

7. Cyber Secret – 4/1

8. King Coral – 30/1

9. Secret Circle – 1/1

10. Big Wednesday – 15/1

Picks are – 2,7,9,3 box-exacta!

Our picks for both contests are anything but a lock to be sure. With such large fields, both going an easy to steal on the front-end mile, both races could blow-up rather easily with huge payouts to follow.

Yes, everyone the 2012 GIII Southwest Stakes results will probably have you scratching your head by early evening on Monday as you probably won’t know what to make of the action from either race and where all the top finishers fit in the Derby puzzle!

Suggestion: wait for the GII Rebel here next month to sort out the Oaklawn Park derby trail picture, as this Monday’s GIII prep is only going to give you a handicapping headache and a wagering belly ache!

“Archarcharch”, wins-wins-wins $1 Million,GI “Arkansas Derby”!

Archarcharch (seen here) did what champion’s do on big race days, bring their “A”-games! Winning by just a neck over the equally hard-charging Nehro in the 75th running of the GI Arkansas Derby for 3yo’s only, going 1 1/8 mile for a $1 million purse!

Coming 3rd by another 1 1/2 length was City Dance and the super spot went to Sway Away 1 1/2 back more!

As for the favorite and newly installed, now uninstalled Kentucky Derby favorite “The Factor” finished 7th and even worst than we had predicted!

The winning time of 1:49.34 for the 1 1/8 mile covered here today is a good Kentucky Derby prep race time and translates out well for a 1 1/4 miles Kentucky Derby run too!

So Archarcharch and Nehro both move on to Louisville next month and right now they’d be in my top 5 candidates to win the this year’s “Run for the Roses”!

As to our picks, well, if you could get past The Factor hype here today. We did give you the first 4 finishers here as alternates to consider! We did pick-up $52.60 here today on again multiple win bets as we learned our “Uncle Mo” lesson from last weekend!

So the GI Arkansas Derby is now in the books and the lone GII Lexington/Coolmore Stakes at Keeneland next Saturday is the final Derby prep of 2011! Want to bet a long shot wins that one too! 

See race replay below!

“Havre de Grace” wins GI “Apple Blossom” Handicap!

Havre de Grace wins "Apple Blossom Handicap" today!

Today at Oaklawn Park, Havre de Grace won the GI, $500,000, Apple Blossom Handicap, for 4yo & up Fillies and Mares, going 1 1/16 mile!

Coming 2nd by 3/4 length was So. California-invader Switch with Absinthe minded back another 1 3/4 length for the 3rd spot!

So Havre de Grace is now the undisputed leader of the Ladies Handicap division as in consecutive races she has beaten the likes of Blind Luck and now Switch and that’s all the take aways you can glean from this contest!

These two will be at it again in the B/C Ladies Classic at the Downs in Nov.

Well our picks were right on the money here, as well, today and as we warned, your $2 exactas and $1 tri’s paid out $5.40 and $7.10 was nothing to write home about here today! It’s what happens in a no-brainer 5 horse race!

We won’t get rich wagering on these kinds of races!

See race replay below!

GI “Apple Blossom” blooms into full view this Friday!

The GI $500,000, “Apple Blossom” Stakes is up this Friday at Oaklawn Park with a field of just 5, 4yo and up Fillies and Mares, going 1 1/16 mile.

Leading this short field at 4/5 is Havre De Grace.  This leader of the ladies handicap division this year appears ready for another big Oaklawn test as her last victory here was a stunner in the GIII Azeri Stakes. She finally defeated Blind Luck (who is not running here on friday) in a graded stakes race on her own terms! So she has to be the clear favorite here and only a bad ride from Eclipse Award winning jockey Ramon Dominguez could ruin this party. So we will go out on a limb here and say she should be first into your boxed exotics!

Shipping in from sunny Southern California way are a pair of top-flight ladies in multiple Graded Stakes winner Switch at 6/5 and recent GI Santa Margarita winner Miss Match at 10/1 . These two tangled in that same Santa Margarita contest where Switch did everything but win that day as Miss Match came on late to nip Switch at the wire. Those two ladies covered the 1 1/8 mile course that day in a very good 1:46  and 4/5. So these fine ladies should be in your exacta, trifecta wagers as there’s no super wagering here in this 5 horse field!

At 15/1 is Belle Watling a chilean import, where she was known as the Zenyatta of South America, well not quite, but she was a big-time multiple group/grade winner down there! She’s had some success in the States with a win and a 3rd in some minor dust-ups here but this will be her first big dance. She is a turf horse by trade and can go the longer distances with ease, so 1 1/16 mile isn’t going to be a problem for her here! Looking for a little foreign-intrigue in your exotics, try her in one of your 50 cent Oaklawn tri’s!

At 10/1 is Absintheminded who finished a decent 3rd here in that GIII Azeri Stakes last month. No, she probably won’t win against this crowd but for another Oaklawn 50 cent’er, put her at the back of a tri.

So what we have in this compact field just might be a B/C Ladies Classic preview, a rematch between the two Santa Margarita foes, a hot senorita from way down under and a up and coming 4yo trying to gain some respect!

What more elements could we add to make this the best “race of the day”, oh, I know how about a $500,000 purse and get mentioned in the same breath with the 2-time winner of this race, Zenyatta!

So Gracie and Switch are logical 1’s and 2’s with the all button filling in your 3rd’s!

It probably won’t payout well as a 5 horse fields are liken to do and any scratches here, well, we all know how that will pay out!

Sounds like a good enough reason to be plugged into this race on Friday!