Sunday’s featured Race #8, at about 4:42 pm C.T.at Oaklawn Park, will be the redrawn and rescheduled, $300,000, GIII Southwest Stakes as it will be the final (10-4-2-1) race of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Points prep-season.
11, 3yos will go 1 1/16 mile over the Oaklawn main track!
The last of this year’s 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby Points races are being offered up this coming holiday weekend in a pair of graded 3yo races in the GIII El Camino Real Derbyat Golden Gate Fields this coming Saturday and the GIII Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on the upcoming Monday holiday!
GIII El Camino Real Derby, will be a Tapeta surface, 2-turn, scrum at an interesting 1 1/8 mile distance with a purse of $200,000 and will be Golden Gate Field’s lone but modest contribution to the 2015 Kentucky Derby points trail offering up its 10 points to Saturday’s winner and the hope of bigger and better things ahead for that victor!
On this upcoming Monday, Presidents Day holiday, Oaklawn Park rolls out the first of its 3, graded 3yo tests of the season there in the GIII Southwest Stakes ,at 1 1/16 mile over the Oaklawn main track with a purse of $300,000 and 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby points to be divvied up!
So, the El Camino Real Derbyand the Southwest Stakeswill ring down the curtain on this year’s 10-4-2-1 portion of the Kentucky Derby points season but at the same time will ring in the start of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Championship Series races, with (8), 50-20-10-5 points tests in round 1 and (7), 100-40-20-10 races in the 2nd and final round.
All of these races will offer the winners a sure-fire gate in Derby 141 at Churchill Downs this coming Saturday, May 2nd, which as of this posting is but a scant “81” days away now!
A very talented field of “9” 3yo’s is set for this year’s $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby, for 3yo’s, going 1 1/8 mile out on Oaklawn Park main track and will go as the last of this year’s 100 Derby Points races with a sure-fire Derby 140 gate is waiting for the winner of this final Derby Trail, 3yo test here at Oaklawn Park this season!
Bayern, at 2/1, has but 2 lifetime starts with his last out being a 15 lengths wow performance in a S/A Alw at a mile run in 1:35.3. Lots and lots of buzz here but will need a 1st or a 2nd to move on to Louisville from here. He’s Bob Baffert trained and will get a Gary Stevens ride! He pretty much is an early front ride but with just 2 races under his belt its hard to say where he’ll be early on in this one!
Strong Mandate, at 9/2, was the earlier pace setter in thatsame sloppy GII Rebel Stakes here last out fading to 4th 2 1/4 lengths off the winner. He was a good 2nd in the GIII Southwest Stakes and an equally good 3rd in the B/C Juvenile last fall and is one of the rare ones still in training from that 2yo championship tilt! Like Tapiture , he can sit early or go early!
Commissioner, at 8/1, was another early season Derby buzz horse who last 2 outs include a 6th in the GII Fountain of Youth Stakes and a 3rd in the GIII Sunland Derby but in both outings he was well off the winner! Needs points to move on but only a 1st or a 2nd will do here for him here! He comes late if he comes at all!
Conquest Titan, at 10/1, 2nd in the the GII Holy Bull Stakes by a good 5 lengths then 4th in the GII Tampa Bay Derby last out by almost 5 lengths again! He should do better at this 1 1/8 mile distance being a son of Birdstone out of a Mineshaft mare. He comes late so no early pacesetter here.
Ride On Curlin, at 12/1, had the stretch lead for a brief while in that same sloppyGII Rebel Stakes here last out but faded to 3rd but only a length off that winner! He was 3rd in the GIII Southwest Stakes here too earlier this season. He likes to near the early pace too for the most part.
Thundergram , 30/1 and Danza , 15/1, round out this 2014 edition of 9 runners but both are a cut or 2 below the rest of this field with just mdn wins to their resumes.
So, it’s on to Louisville after this one is over as the $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby all but closes the book on the bulk of the 2014 Derby Trail season.