Southwest Stakes

Happy President’s Day! And the “bonus” racing that comes along with it, including a Kentucky Derby Prep from Oaklawn. The Southwest Stakes, a GIII at 8.5 furlongs, has drawn a field of 10, with the scratch of Principe Guiherme. At first glance, it’s a Baffert race to lose, with Mourinho rocking the best speed figure and a
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Risen Star

My first impression when looking at the entires was that Instilled Regard towered over the field. But, on closer look, I found a contender that I like. I’ll talk about Instilled Regard and then visit some contenders who could knock him off if he has an off day. The case was Instilled Regard is strong. He’s been the fastest
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The Sam F. Davis Stakes

Let’s jump on I-75 and move from Gulfstream in Miami up to Tampa Bay Downs for the Sam F. Davis Stakes. The Sam F. Davis is now a points race on the Derby Trail and they’ve drawn some top-notch competition — it’s fairly common from a horse from this race to make it to the
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Holy Bull

The Derby Trail is picking up with 3 points races this week — the Withers, The Holy Bull, and the Robert B. Lewis. The focus is Gulfstream for the second week in a row; We’ll visit some returning friends in a competitive edition of the Holy Bull. The Holy Bull, a Grade II is 8.5
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Pegasus World Cup

We’ll take a break from 3YO to look at the world’s richest race, the $16 million Pegasus World Cup. Held at Gulfstream, it uses a novel approach to entries, which has created a deep, layered field (with one standout favorite in Gun Runner.) I picked Gun Runner to win the 2016 Kentucky Derby, but that turned
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California Derby

We’ll head up the coast to the Bay Area for the California Derby at 3:55 p.m local time. At Golden Gate Fields, it’s a local prep for the El Camino Real Derby — their Kentucky Derby Prep race. Combined with the Spiral from Turfway, these two races create an artificial surface path to the Derby. Today,
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The LeComte

Let’s venture down to New Orleans to the Fairgrounds for their Derby prep series, where they’ve produced some good horses the past few years (but no Kentucky Derby winners.) Today is the GIII LeComte, a 1 mile and 70 yards two-turn route for newly minted 3YO’s. It’s a deep field — before scratches, we have
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Sham Stakes

In trying to evaluate the legacy of Sham, the 1973 Derby and Preakness runner-up, we have to consider he’d probably have won these 2 races in almost any other year. His times are in the top 5 in history — he just happened to be in the same crop with Secretariat. There is a connection
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H. Allen Jerkens Stakes

Always fun to handicap a race type you don’t see that often. Here are some key points on the Jerkens, named for a great horseman: We’ve got a 2-mile route on the Gulfstream Park turf course. Yes, I typed that right — 2 miles…a full 1/4 of a mile longer than the Marathon and the distance
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The Malibu

When I think Malibu, I immediately go to “The Big Lebowski.” STAY OUT OF MALIBU, LEBOWSKI! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have a movie to add to your watchlist immediately. If only for the quotes, The GI Malibu is the final graded stakes for 3YO. It’s the final race that is restricted
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