It was a good day to be Bob Baffert and Rafael Bejarano at Oaklawn Park after those connections guided Castaway and Secret Circle in the split divisions of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes.
Castaway broke alertly from the far outside and secured a stalking position next to early pacesetter Majestic Stride. Castaway took command of the race at the top of the stretch and was never seriously threatened inside the final furlong. Longshot Jake Mo got up to finish second, 3 ¾ lengths behind the winner. Reckless Jerry held on for third, while Ring It Up rounded out the superfecta.
Castaway is a three-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense out of a Storm Cat mare (Priceless Storm) owned by the Ballydoyle trio of Magnier, Tabor and Smith.
Win: 11-Castaway ($15.40, $9.40, $7.20)
Place: 3-Jake Mo ($19.00, $7.40)
Show: 8-Reckless Jerry ($4.20)
$2 Exacta: $376.00
$1 Trifecta: $1,065.40
$1 Superfecta: $10,240.60
$1 Pick 3: $66.40
Division One Fractions:
Division One Internal Splits:
In the second division, Secret Circle sat just off early leader Scatman through strong early fractions, pulled alongside the pacesetter at the top of the stretch, briefly drifted out in mid-stretch, and finally pulled ahead to win by a half a length at the wire. Scatman was clear by 5 ½ lengths for the second spot, while Adirondack King closed well to finish a distant third. Pee H Dee rounded out the superfecta.
Secret Circle is now 4-for-5 in his career with wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, and the Southwest Stakes. He was a runner-up to Out of Bounds in the G3-Sham in early January. Despite the victory by Secret Circle, there are still going to be serious doubts as to how far he's going to want to run. He has enough stamina to win at a mile and probably a little longer, but it remains to be seen whether 10 furlongs is within his comfort zone. Regardless of whether Secret Circle ever gets the classic distance, he's proven himself to be an exceptionally consistent horse in the early part of his career.
In terms of a straight up comparison between the two divisions, Secret Circle's performance was a full second better than the race of Castaway. The pace was faster in the second division and the final time was faster. The only part of Division One that ended up quicker was the final ¼ mile, but by just three tenths of a second - 25.49 to 25.83.
Secret Circles is a three-year-old son of Eddington out of a Dixieland Band mare (Ragtime Hope).
Win: 9-Secret Circle ($3.20, $3.20, $2.40)
Place: 3-Scatman ($6.40, $4.60)
Show: 2-Adirondack King ($3.60)
$2 Exacta: $23.20
$1 Trifecta: $45.80
$1 Superfecta: $337.40
$1 Southwest Daily Double: $26.00
Division Two Fractions:
Division Two Internal Splits: