Rating the 2019 Kentucky Derby Prep Races

Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography As we head into the final round of Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, now seems like a good time to look back at the 17 North American prep races already run this year and assign a rating to each one. My ratings—based on a scale of 1 to 5—attempt to blend the apparent strength of each race on paper with its potential [...]

How to Bet the Southwest Stakes

Sueno galloping at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography When I started handicapping the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) on Presidents’ Day at Oaklawn Park, I initially began by trying to separate the six runners coming out of last month’s Smarty Jones Stakes. I took note of the fact that #1 Gray Attempt won the Smarty Jones in gate-to-wire fashion, tenaciously clinging to a narrow advantage down the homestretch while giving the impression that he was in better control [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 2/20/18

Bravazo winning the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir The Road to the Kentucky Derby took a few major twists last weekend with upsets in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) and Southwest Stakes (gr. III), plus a brilliant debut from an exciting colt at Santa Anita. Suffice to say, my Kentucky Derby Top 10 has been shaken up a bit this week. Here’s how I rank the contenders [...]

Pace, Track Favored My Boy Jack in Southwest Stakes

My Boy Jack winning the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Racing fans were treated to an eye-catching sight on Monday when My Boy Jack produced an explosive rally from off the pace to win the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. From a visual perspective, My Boy Jack looked terrific. Reserved at the back of the pack early on in the 8.5-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race, My Boy [...]

Presidents’ Day Spot Plays at Oaklawn Park

Monday is Presidents’ Day and that means it is Southwest Stakes Day at Oaklawn Park. The racing office in Hot Springs, Arkansas has a special holiday card on tap that includes not only the Grade 3 Southwest, but also the 59th running of the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap for older males. The ten-race card commences at 1:05 PM local time and offers horseplayers a solid day of action with plenty of opportunities to end the long racing week on a [...]

Will Combatant Upset Mourinho in the Southwest Stakes?

Mourinho (right) leads Combatant (white and black silks) into the homestretch of the Smarty Jones Stakes - Coady Photography In recent years, no trainer has dominated the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races at Oaklawn Park more thoroughly than Bob Baffert. Since 2010, the Hall of Fame trainer has won 13 of the 30 Derby prep races contested at Oaklawn, including four editions of the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III). Baffert will have a strong chance to [...]

Weekly Stakes Wrap-Up for 2/18/2014

by John DaSilva It is full speed ahead for the Kentucky Derby as three-year-olds cranking up to earn points to enter most prestigious race in America. The feature race for three-year-olds this weekend was the Grade 3, $300,000, Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park featuring the return of Strong Mandate, who was making his first start since a wide trip third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. Going off the favorite Strong Mandate was wide into the [...]

By |February 18th, 2014|Categories: RacingWire|Tags: |

Race Preview: Southwest Stakes – Oaklawn Park, February 18, 2013

The feature race on Monday, President’s Day, at Oaklawn Park is the 48th running of the Grade 3 Southwest for three-year-olds who are looking to be running in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May.  This year’s race drew a field of 10 with trainer Bob Baffert looking to continue his Oaklawn dominance. Over the last three years Baffert has won the race three times.  Last year there were two divisions of the Southwest with Baffert taking both down with [...]

By |February 18th, 2013|Categories: RacingWire|Tags: |