The Southwest Stakes

Apart from the goings on at Gulfstream Park Saturday there is also a Kentucky Derby points race.

The Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park will offer more KD qualifying points Saturday than it has in years past.

There is a total of  40 points up for grabs with the top five finishers (if eligible) receiving 20-8-6-4-2 points in descending order.

A field of nine was entered for this year’s edition, including a few with the potential to be important players in this year’s Triple Crown pursuit.

Here is a look at the scheduled entrants:

1. SUN THUNDER [ML 10-1] Jockey: David Cabrera, Trainer: Ken McPeek.  Stretched out to a mile for his second start and posted a decisive Maiden Victory. Has the pedigree to handle two turns here, but his speed figure for that Win leaves him a step behind the top contenders.

2. CORONA BOLT [ML 6-1] Jockey: Flavien Prat. Trainer: Brad Cox.  He’s unbeaten in two starts and the most recent one was brilliant, Winning in gate-to-wire style by 6 3/4 lengths in a fast time. That Win came at six furlongs, but he’s bred to handle two turns and how he responds to this test is one of the more intriguing elements of the race.

3. JACE’S ROAD [ML 4-1] Jockey: Joe Talamo. Trainer: Brad Cox. He offset for a dismal try on a sloppy track in the Street Sense Stakes by Winning the Gun Runner Stakes at Fairgrounds in impressive fashion. He should be part of a lively pace duel that could play a major role in deciding the outcome, and having experience in a two-turn stakes gives him a nice advantage.

4. WESTERN GHENT [ML 20-1] Jockey: Cristian Torres. Trainer: D. Wayne Lucas. He showed some improvement by finishing 4th here in the Smarty Jones Stakes at odds of 56-1. Having Lukas as his trainer helps his cause, but he’ll need to take another big step forward to be a serious contender.

5. FROSTED DEPARTURE [ML 15-1] Jockey: Francisco Arrieta. Trainer: Ken McPeek. He comes off a Stakes Win, albeit a six-furlong sprint and his two tries navigating two turns were duds. Up against it in this spot.

6. ARABIAN KNIGHT [ML 1-1] Jockey: John Velazquez. Trainer: Bob Baffert. Makes his long-awaited Stakes debut after posting a dazzling Maiden Win on Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Keeneland. He lacks experience but has talent, and Baffert is good at bringing out the best in a promising 3-year-old runner. The potential is definitely there.

7. RED ROUTE ONE [ML 10-1] Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. Trainer: Steve Asmussen. After running a troubled 4th in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, he was given two months off to prepare for this race. His workouts have been sharp and with his late-running style he could be a factor in the final furlong.

8. HIT SHOW [ML 10-1] Jockey: Manny Franco. Trainer: Brad Cox. He looked good Winning an Allowance race on this track. One of three horses trained by Cox in this field and he seems the weakest link of the trio, but it would not be a surprise if he winds up in the exotics.

9. EL TOMATE [ML 30-1] Jockey: Orlando Mojica. Trainer: Miguel Silva. Won nicely in a Maiden race at Remington Park but is taking an enormous step up in class. He faces a tough challenge from the outside post position.

The mile & 1/16 Southwest Stakes carries a purse of $750,000 dollars, is listed as race 10 on a card of 11, with a scheduled Post Time of 5:55.

Best of luck to all.


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