The Wayne Catalano trained Uncontested will be looking for a similar trip he got in his gate to wire score in the Smarty Jones Stakes when he takes on a dozen foes in Monday’s $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Under jockey Channing Hill the colt wired the field in the slop in the Smarty Jones and may catch a wet track again as there is a 60% chance of rain in Hot Springs on Monday.
The Southwest is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs to the top four finishers.
Uncontested picked up 10 points for his Smarty Jones win and one point for his fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) last November. His 11 points place him seventh in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings.
The colt is currently listed at 3-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at US Racing.
His main foe may be the Todd Pletcher trained One Liner (7-2), who makes his stakes and two turn debut in the Southwest. The colt is perfect in two starts and came off the layoff to beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park in his last start. Pletcher has not won the Southwest.
Petrov is the third choice on the morning line at 5-1. The colt chased Uncontested the entire trip last out in the Smarty Jones and had to settle for the runner up spot, beaten 5 ¼ lengths. Jose Ortiz takes the return call on the son of Flatter.
The colt is currently listed at 65-1 in early Kentucky Derby betting at US Racing.
The co-feature on Monday’s card at Oaklawn Park is the $500,000 Razorback (G3) for older runners which drew a field of eight.
Clark Handicap (G1) winner Gun Runner is the 4-5 morning line favorite. The colt won four of nine starts last year and ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
Let head out to Hot Springs for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Oaklawn Park Race 9 The Southwest (G3) Post time 5:09 CT
3 Uncontested 5-2
11 One Liner 7-2
4 Lookin At Lee 8-1
1 Cool Arrow 12-1
Uncontested took the field gate to wire to win the Smarty Jones last out in his local debut and did it over a sloppy surface and we might see a wet track again this afternoon. The colt made two starts last year, a good looking maiden winner in his debut at Keeneland, then a fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) behind McCraken, who came back to win the Sam F. Davis (G3) in his next start and is a leading contender for the Derby.
The Catalano trainee earned the top last out speed fig and owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers. There is some other early zip in here but this guy should be able to control things up front and is a danger to go gate to wire again. He is a half to graded stakes winner Solitary Ranger ($236,112) who won the 20143 Arlington Washington Futurity (G3).
One Liner came off a seven-month layoff to beat Alw-1 optional claimers going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park last out. He broke his maiden two back at the Spain a good-looking effort with the runner up Royal Copy coming back to break his maiden in his next start and then running second in the Hopeful (G1).
The $150,000 Keeneland purchase is by Into Mischief out of a Cherokee Run mare, her first foal to race. She is bred to handle the distance and the possibility of a wet track. The Pletcher barn is 29% winners moving runners from sprint to route.
Lookin At Lee was outrun early and made up some ground late in a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his last outing. He was second to Classic Empire two back in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), beaten three lengths.
The Asmussen barn is 21% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff, It is tough to make up a ton of ground over this surface at this distance, so Santana needs to get him into the mix earlier. He is out of the stakes winner Langara Lass ($190,418) who has dropped three other winners including graded stakes placed Battlefield Angel ($149,030).
WIN: Uncontested to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 3,11 / 1,3,4,11
TRIFECTA: 3,11 / 1,3,4,11 / 1,3,4,8,11
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