Past Performances -
Oaklawn Park - Southwest Stakes
By JEFF TAYLOR
Might have been a little too much to ask of him to vault right into graded company off the maiden score as he failed to make much of impact after an uneventful trip; may be involved early and that means the early fractions will be just that much more lively; this group probably alittle softer than last time but it will still be his first tryaround two turns; leaning more toward those able to take advantage of the heated early pace battle.
Two Down Automatic
Tired going to the front in that Grade 3 Fair Grounds tilt and lost interest after he got headed; may have been on the front end by default that day as no one appeared to want the early lead; no such scenario today as most in here qualify for the first flight; with a lot of players scrambling to find someone to come from off the pace, some may latch on to that allowance win; dangerous to assume he can translate that kind of kick to two turns, especially looking at the crack sprinter Smoke Glacken on thetop side of his pedigree; not without possibilities but want double digits on tote.
If he thought it was tough up front last time, wait until he gets done with the opening half today; no doubt benefited from that out after the time off but not 16 lengths worth which was how far he finished behind Proper; not that far removed from the maiden win at the big price and this is an awful lot to ask of him; stalked in his one turn graduation and he will have to do the same to have any chance today.
One of the more seasoned members of the cast who was found a bit lacking in his return but you know that Holthus was looking down the road to this spot; cranks back to a mile but doubt it matters much; Quinonez is a good fit as hard as he finishes and there could not be much more pace to run at; will have to move a little earlier thanhe has been with the short stretch run but the speed should be coming back; together, the entryalmost has to be involved in the trifecta.
Quiet entry into this race as most of the fanfare has gone to others; sat off that quick half mile in that allowance score last time while trying to get out a bit which brought back memories of that Keeneland disaster last fall; unusual for Norman to work one as this one has done betweenstarts and it may be difficult to keep him out of the early fray which is getting more crowded all the time; one of the toughest betting events of the day but extremely dangerous to eliminatethis one.
Got the Goods
Narrowly best in the prep miler as he outfinished Pyramid in an exiting finish; unlike most in here, he has proven he can lay off the pace and other than Holthus' entry, do not see a whole lot of closing action present today; has not run as fast as others in here and his final quarter was not that quick in that last win; picks up a few down the lane but a rally for all the money not expected.
Much-anticipated local bow of the Count Fleet winner whose reputation is going to precede him and therefore expect a short price; overcame that lost footing at the break last time and in the process proved that he is a little trackable unlike the race before when he cleared in short order after that tardy start; almostcertain that Wildcat is going to go which means he will be in the second flight once again; training like he is the real deal and has been a hand full this week; timing appears critical in this affair and it may be a case of who goes after the leader first; value limited.
Half of the Holthus' Prado duo who got up under clever handling by McKee last time down inside; he will ride him back as Louie Q picks the mount on the other which make you wonder if this one may be the stronger half although it does not really matter since they are coupled; trouble inhis previous miler in an even finish but since it came going one turn, it does not reveal much;on the stretchout, it would seem that McKee will shadow Smarty early which will not help that one's chances.
Held on rather well last time going the mile after clearing through that hot half mile and actually battled back for the place spot; may have to go as fast early today but unfortunately for him, he will not be up by daylight with all the other speed present; possible he may try and rate but looking at his running style, that may do more harm than good; will not be the only one that the early speed battle will victimize.
Fires maintains he can get the two turns and you just got the feeling all along that he would try him in this spot; while not discounting his chances, he does have an entrymate in here who will reserved early so the connections may be going for the one-two punch; Thompson got him torelax the middle quarter in theMountain Valley and he almost had enough left to hold Prado safe in the waning strides; likely to clear again in here and it may come down to how slow the restof the field allows him to go; have to think Smarty jumps on him in the second turn and not sure he has enough to hold that oneand others off.