The road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby moves back to Hot Springs, Arkansas for Monday's Grade 3 Southwest Stakes (Post Time: 6;09 pm ET; TV: HRTV) at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track. Will Take Charge, winner of the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn last month, leads a field of ten in the Southwest, along with runner-up Texas Bling and show horse Always in a Tiz.
Below is look at the entries and post positions for the Southwest Stakes (
morning odds will be added when released; ML odds are up), along with a quick look at each of the ten horses in the field.
|1||Officer Alex||L. Quinonez||L. Whiting||20/1|
|2||Brown Almighty||T. Thompson||T. Ice||10/1|
|3||Will Take Charge||J. Court||D. Lukas||5/1|
|4||Texas Bling||M. Berry||D. Durham||12/1|
|5||Always in a Tiz||P. Lopez||D. Schettino||4/1|
|6||Super Ninety Nine||R. Bejarano||B. Baffert||7/5|
|7||Fear the Kitten||R. Napravnik||M. Maker||15/1|
|8||Heaven's Runway||J. Loveberry||J. Martin||30/1|
|9||Channel Isle||I. Ocampo||D. Lukas||15/1|
|10||Big Lute||R. Albarado||S. Hobby||6/1|
1-Offficer Alex (20/1): Flopped pretty bad in the Smarty Jones after scoring in an ungraded even at Parx in early December. Tough to back this colt when his two victories came against state-bred competition.
2-Brown Almighty (10/1): His first try on dirt in the Smarty Jones was pretty dull and you've got to serious question whether this colt really wants to run on this surface. He didn't get the best trip that day but I'm not sure it mattered as he just didn't have the kick necessary to do any damage in the final furlongs.
3-Will Take Charge (5/1): If you draw a line from his flop in the Kentucky Jockey Club last November, then this colt has put together a good string of races in his brief career.
4-Texas Bling (12/1): I didn't give this colt much of a chance in the Smarty Jones and he promptly told me to "shove it" but losing by a neck to Will Take Charge. Looks like this colt simply took a while to start putting things all together out on the track. I'm still not thrilled about his desire to run further than a mile but he doesn't have to worry about that in this race.
5-Always in a Tiz (4/1): I loved Always in a Tiz in the Smarty Jones but he came up a bit flat in the stretch and had to settle for a decent but frustrating third to Will Take Charge and Texas Bling. He got some education in his first try at two turns but needs to find better racing room in the Southwest if he's going to reverse the results this time out.
6-Super Ninety Nine (7/5): A good second to Really Mr. Greeley in the G3-Hollywood Prevue in late November, Super Ninety Nine won an allowance/optional claiming race in his first try at two turns in his most recent start. Just another strong 3yo in the barn of Bob Baffert.
7-Fear the Kitten (15/1): Closed decently to finish third in the G3-Lecomte but never threatened the winner in any part of the race. Based on his prior races, he needs a good amount of pace in the early stages if he's going to have a chance at the victory.
8-Heaven's Runway (30/1): The first four races of his career were on synthetics at Presque Isle Downs and they were decent to good efforts. He then switched to dirt and was done much of anything in his next three races. This race ain't on synthetics.
9-Channel Isle (15/1): Looked pretty good when beating allowance company at a mile back on Jan. 26. He broke broke his maiden on grass but has successfully made the transition to dirt and could find his way into the top three with a big kick in the last quarter mile. Channel Isle is definitely a horse to watch for late in the race.
10-Big Lute (6/1): He looked pretty good when breaking his maiden at Oaklawn on Feb. 1 but he's taking a big jump up in class and stretching out for the first time. He's got a shot but the margin for error is small when breaking from the far outside post.