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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Southwest Stakes Ushers in Warmer Weather, 12 Entries


By Dick Downey

After days and days of severe winter weather, a dozen runners will contest the Southwest Stakes on Monday in what forecasters say will be 70-degree weather and sunshine.

Snow and cold weather have eliminated training and racing days at Oaklawn Park, but the Hot Springs track is getting a respite in time for its 2014 Road to the Kentucky debut race, the last one to award 17 total points with 10 to the winner. The stakes get higher the following weekend, when winners start earning 50 points.

Leading the Southwest Stakes entries are Strong Mandate and Tapiture.

Strong Mandate has been at Oaklawn Park all winter and engaged in a string of steady workouts beginning Dec. 17 and ending Feb. 2 with a bullet-of-52 move. He'll make his 2014 debut for Wayne Lukas after finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. After breaking from post 14, he set the pace and then stayed on strongly to come home beaten two lengths by New Year's Day.

Tapiture most recently won the Kentucky Jockey club Stakes on Nov. 30 and has spent his winter at Fair Grounds until recently. Like Strong Mandate, he's had a steady string of breezes from December through Feb. 3 at the New Orleans track. Steve Asmussen had him shipped to Oaklawn, where he put in an afternoon workout between races on Thursday, four days before the Southwest, breezing four furlongs in: 50.00.

Tanzanite Cat comes into the Southwest as a strong contender, having won the Smarty Jones Stakes in handy fashion. He now goes a sixteenth of a mile further. His trainer, Cody Autrey, said after the Smarty Jones, "I'm not sure how much farther he can go. That's a good problem to have this time of year." Autrey shipped Tanzanite Cat to Evangeline Training Center, about six hours south of Oaklawn, to escape winter weather. According to Autrey, Tanzanite Cat breezed there on Wednesday.

Another recent stakes winner in the field is Louies Flower, who took the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on Dec. 15. Stationed at Oaklawn Park since then, trainer Bret Calhoun also shipped him to Evangeline where he breezed on Wednesday.

Ride on Curlin has a win over the track, a six-furlong allowance race on Jan. 12. That was a redemption from what was perceived as a poor performance in the Oct. 27 Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs. Trainer Bill Gowan later disclosed that Ride on Curlin emerged from that race with a lung infection.

Bourbonize also has a win at Oaklawn. After breaking his maiden Churchill Downs on Nov. 30 in his debut, he was triumphant against other winners the first time he faced them. That effort came on a sloppy track in Hot Springs for trainer Kellyn Gorder.

Mark Casse's Coastline, who won the Street Sense, took a turn at disappointment in the Smarty Jones. Set off as the 6-5 favorite, he ran in third position from start to finish, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Shaun Bridgmohan said Coastline needed the race.

Second in the Smarty Jones was Walt, who vied for the lead with Tanzanite Cat much of the way. He switched leads late, which caused concern to trainer Chris Hartman. Like Tapiture, Walt worked between races at Oaklawn Park on Thursday.

Autrey also trains Pagnol, a colt that shares common ownership with Tanzanite Cat and will be coupled in the betting. Paganol ran a visually interesting race breaking his maiden at the track going six furlongs on Jan. 11. Paganol now goes into stakes company while debuting at two turns.

Fire Starter, trained by Steve Hobby, comes in off a distant fifth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes after breaking his maiden by over 10 lengths at Laurel Park on New Year's Eve.

Kendalls Boy, trained by Tom Amoss, has had an up and down career. He ran second to Havana in his debut, won next time out at Churchill Downs, then finished 11th in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. In his first start of 2014, he won a sprint at Fair Grounds.

Calhoun has a second Southwest starter in Son of Dixie. Most recently, he finished third behind Bourbonize in that Oaklawn allowance race.

Saturday, R9
Grade III Southwest Stakes
Oaklawn Park
1 1/16 Mile
Post Time: 6:09 ET

Post   Horse  ML  Jockey Sx  Wt Trainer
1 Tapiture (KY)   R. Santana Jr. C 119 S. Asmussen
2 Coastline (KY)   S. Bridgmohan C 117 M. Casse
3 Tanzanite Cat (FL)   C. Nakatani C 122 C. Autrey
4 Louies Flower (FL)   L. Quinonez C 119 B. Calhoun
5 Kendall's Boy (KY)   L. Goncalves C 115 T. Amoss
6 Paganol (KY)   N. Arroyo Jr. C 115 C. Autrey
7 Walt (KY)   K. Tohill C 115 C. Hartman
8 Strong Mandate (KY)   J. Rosario C 117 W. Lukas
9 Ride On Curlin (KY)   C. Borel C 117 W. Gowan
10 Son of Dixie (FL)   C. Berry C 115 B. Calhoun
11 Fire Starter (KY)   R. Albarado C 115 S. Hobby
12 Bourbonize (KY)   R. Vazquez G 117 K. Gorder

All will run with Lasix.

A - Coupled Entries - Tanzanite Cat, Paganol

Owners: 1 - Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (Ron & Joan Winchell) ; 2 - John C. Oxley ; 3 - James L. & Ywachetta H. Driver ; 4 - Wesley Melcher ; 5 - Jerry Namy ; 6 - James L. & Ywachetta H. Driver ; 7 - Black Hawk Stable (James Rogers) ; 8 - Robert C. Baker & William L. Mack ; 9 - Daniel J. Dougherty ; 10 - Terra Di Sienna Stables (Simeone Salvatore) ; 11 - Alex & JoAnn Lieblong ; 12 - Bourbon Lane Stable (Jamie Hill)

Breeders: 1 - Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; 2 - DATTT Farm, LLC; 3 - Charles H. Deters & Dr. John Peterson; 4 - Shadybrook Farm Inc & Castletop Stable; 5 - Avalon Farms, Inc.; 6 - Bob Feld & Mark Toothaker; 7 - Ronald Kirk, Greg McDonald & John Bates; 8 - G. Watts Humphrey Jr.; 9 - G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & Louise IrelandHumphrey Revocable Trust - 2008; 10 - Sienna Farms, LLC; 11 - Dan Cassella & Frank Cassella; 12 - Troy Rankin & Joe Davis



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