Shadwell Farm's Najjaar is out of consideration for the one-mile Southwest, and trainer Danny Peitz said today the son of Jazil possibly will be pointed to an allowance race at a longer distance.
Breezing under Calvin Borel today, Najjaar started off about three lengths behind stablemate Zapper Belle and caught her in the lane, finishing head-and-head past the wire. Officially Najjaar was credited with a time of 1:01.60 while Zapper Belle got 1:02.00.
"I mainly wanted to give him a target to run at," said Peitz. "I don't know if we can change his running style in the afternoons at this point. He's probably going to always drop way off it. We will just look for more distance and see what happens. Calvin seemed happy with him."
Steve Beneto’s Longview Drive, one of four horses to arrive this week from Southern California for Monday’s $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), got a good test over the Oaklawn track Friday, breezing a half mile in 48 1/5, the second fastest of 50 at the distance.
Split of Southwest Not Announced Yet
As of today, Oaklawn says a final decision on splitting the Southwest Stakes into two decisons won't be made until entry time on Saturday. If the race is run in two divisions, each would carry Grade III status and the announced $250,000 purse. The Southwest has been split twice before in its history, in 1972 and 2002, but not since it was most recenlty awarded graded status.
--Edited Oaklawn Park release