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!
Strong Mandate, made a strong statement in this year 2yo division with a massive 9 3/4 length win in today’s $300,000, GI Hopeful Stakes, over a muddy and sealed 7f Saratoga main track.
Strong Mandate, wrestled the lead away from the speedy Corfu, about midway on the far turn then slowly started to draw away from the tiring field behind him as then jockey Jose L. Ortiz mercifully geared down this son of Tiznow/French Deputy mare in the final 16th to keep the winning margin from becoming an embarrassment for the rest of this field.