Timing Is Key
With Southwest Stakes winner My Boy Jack heading back to California from Oaklawn Park today, connections are mulling over their next move.
My Boy Jack earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 93 after winning the Southwest by 4 1/2 lengths, equaling the second-largest margin of victory since 2003. The race was lengthened from a mile to 1 1/16 mile in 2013.
My Boy Jack has 12 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, including 10 for his Southwest victory, and ranks 13th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. Last year, the last horse to get in the Derby field was Desormeaux's Sonneteer, with 30 points, so he knows the lay of the land.
Where My Boy Jack run next is up in the air, trainer Keith Desormeaux said.
“What it does to me, it kind of puts me in a tight spot because as a trainer, my first instinct, off of this race, and the body of work that this horse has – he’s had plenty of starts, he’s dead fit – I would totally just give him one more start before the Derby,” Desormeaux said. “But, because of this point system, I have to think about a fallback plan.”
Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby prep series continues with the Rebel Stakes on March 17 and the Arkansas Derby on April 14. The Rebel awards 85 points to the top four finishers (50-20-10-5), and the Arkansas Derby offers 170 points (100-40-20-10).
“If I do plan that one race, it wouldn’t be the Rebel,” Desormeaux said. “I would plan it like the Arkansas Derby or the Louisiana Derby, let’s say. If I did that, then I wouldn’t have time to get another race in him. It gets a little complicated. We’ll get together with the ownership and talk about all the pros and cons. Hopefully, we make the right decision.”
My Boy Jack, who was making his third start on dirt Monday, has a 2-3-1 record from eight career starts and earnings of $425,145.
The son of Creative Cause, in his return to dirt, was coming off a third-place finish in the Sham Stakes on Jan. 6 at Santa Anita. My Boy Jack was already a stakes winner on grass and ran seventh, beaten three lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Meanwhile, according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, the probable next start for Bravazo, winner of Saturday's Risen Star Stakes, looks to be the Louisiana Derby on March 24. It would serve as his final Kentucky Derby prep.
Edited Oaklawn Park release with additional content by Dick Downey
Photo by Coady Photography