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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Dick's Picks: Staying Power Could Rule Southwest Outcome


By Dick Downey

There's a lot of early speed in the Southwest Stakes, but not much of it late, so the race should come down to which one of the early first flight lasts the longest.

The Southwest Stakes, lengthened from a mile to 1 1/16 mile last year, has a field comprised almost entirely of horses that have been on or near the lead in the early stages of many of their races.

Among the fastest early speed in the race are Kendall's Boy and Strong Mandate.

Kendall's Boy breaks from post 5, with Strong Mandate to his outside in the 8.

Kendall's Boy's lone two-turn race was a disaster, but it came in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity when the Polytrack at Keeneland was a swamp after a cloudburst struck shortly before the race. We draw a line through that one, and we notice that he ran 5 1/2 furlongs in just over 1:03, right behind Havana, in his debut. By Sky Mesa, he's out of a mare that won from seven furlongs to the Southwest distance. Maybe he can get two turns effectively this time, maybe not. But how many of these will get past him? He finished up the final quarter-mile of his most recent race, a six-furlong allowance/optional claimer, in about :24 4/5.

Strong Mandate starts for the first time this year after a good third from a tough post position in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Joel Rosario thinks enough of him to come in from California and take the mount again. Strong Mandate built a stellar worktab at Oaklawn Park until winter weather shut down the track recently. I look for Rosario to sit close to the pace and make a well-timed move. One caveat is that Strong Mandate finished the final 5/16 mile of the Juvenile in about :34 1/5

Tapiture, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club last time out, attended the early pace in that race, and it was a moderate one compared to what will likely turn up on Monday. He breaks from post 1, so it may be essential that Ricardo Santana, Jr. maintain his position on the rail. That could be difficult with all the speed coming into the mix from his outside. He should be able to take the kickback, and he's never been off the board in four starts, so there's a lot to like. He went the final 5/16 of the Kentucky Jockey Club in about 31 3/5.

Smarty Jones Stakes winner Tanzanite Cat could be right there in the early mix, but if it's a fast pace, he might not have the pedigree to last the additional sixteenth of a mile he now faces. If he's not up there winging it early, that might not work out for him either. He finished the Smarty Jones in :26 2/5.

Louies Flower has shown a propensity to be on the lead, but it's been against lesser competition, and his best win came after he stalked a slower pace than he's likely to see on Monday. We note that Louies Flower's final half-mile in the Springboard Mile was :26 4/5. The second finisher in that race, Noble Cornerstone, laid an egg in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at low odds.

Walt is another one that has shown early foot, but again, maybe not the kind he'll see in the Southwest. He changed leads very late in the Smarty Jones when finishing second. He had a good breeze coming into the race. Now it's a question of whether he has the bloodlines to move forward off his last effort. He finished the Smarty Jones in :26 3/5.

With Coastline and Ride on Curlin, a question is whether they can get this distance.

Coastline's own trainer posed the issue on Friday. This is Coastline's third start going two turns. The debacle in the Delta Jackpot can be thrown out after he pretty much fell out of the gate. He probably wasn't fully cranked for the Smarty Jones. However, breaking from post 2 on Monday, can he successfully press the page from the inside? And, again, can he get the distance? He's by champion sprinter Speightstown but is out of Culinary, who won five races all at a mile or 1 1/16 mile, and his trainer says Coastline isn't built like a sprinter. He ran the final quarter-mile of the Smarty Jones in about :26 3/5.

Ride on Curlin finished third in both his efforts stretching out to a mile, and his best speed figure came sprinting. This will be his debut at two turns, so whether he advances or regresses is anyone's guess. He finished his Jan. 12 win at Oaklawn, a six-furlong allowance race, in :27 4/5.

If the pace is particularly hot, Paganol could take advantage of the situation. In his debut and only career race, a six-furlong maiden special weight at the track, he broke dead last of 12, was eighth at the first call and by a nose. He's an expensive youngster and could be up to the challenge, but he is facing much tougher company that he did in his debut. His final quarter-mile of that sprint went in about :26 3/5 on a track rated good.

Bourbonize is two-for-two and has a win at the track in a one-mile allowance on a sloppy surface. His speed numbers may not be quite up to par yet, and he is disadvantaged breaking from post 12. He has shown versatility and a responsiveness when asked by his rider. He ran the final quarter-mile of his Oaklawn race in :28 1/5 after getting the first six furlongs in 1:16 2/5.

Fire Starter has run close to the same speed figure in each of his four starts. He'll be looking to come running late after breaking from post 11, but can he. In the Smarty Jones, he finished in about :26 3/5.

Son of Dixie doesn't look fast enough on paper and would have to make a big step forward to win. Third to Bourbonize last time out, he finished the race in about :29 3/5.




Bourbonize, Coastline, Fire Starter, Kendall’s Boy, Louies Flower, Paganol, Ride On Curlin, Son of Dixie, Strong Mandate, Tapiture, Tanzanite Cat, Walt

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) 3-1 R. Santana Jr. C 119 S. Asmussen
2 Coastline (KY) 8-1 S. Bridgmohan C 117 M. Casse
3 Tanzanite Cat (FL) 8-1 C. Nakatani C 122 C. Autrey
4 Louies Flower (FL) 12-1 L. Quinonez C 119 B. Calhoun
5 Kendall's Boy (KY) 12-1 L. Goncalves C 115 T. Amoss
6 Paganol (KY) 8-1 N. Arroyo Jr. C 115 C. Autrey
7 Walt (KY) 15-1 K. Tohill C 115 C. Hartman
8 Strong Mandate (KY) 2-1 J. Rosario C 117 W. Lukas
9 Ride On Curlin (KY) 6-1 C. Borel C 117 W. Gowan
10 Son of Dixie (FL) 30-1 C. Berry C 115 B. Calhoun
11 Fire Starter (KY) 20-1 R. Albarado C 115 S. Hobby
12 Bourbonize (KY) 15-1 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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