Desormeaux Seeks Second Southwest Win with Sueno


A field of 11 line up in the $500,000 Southwest (G3) the first of three Derby points races at Oaklawn Park this season. (photo credit: Oaklawn Park)

Trainer Keith Desormeaux looks to win the $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park for the second year in a row, sending out the talented Sueno who faces 10 foes in Monday’s feature.

The Southwest offers up 10-4-2-1 points toward entry into the Run for the Roses.

Desormeaux saddled last year’s winner My Boy Jack, who went on to finish fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and eighth in the Belmont Stakes (G1). The colt finished third in the Sham (G3) in his prep for last year’s Southwest.

Sueno did his stablemate one better, checking in second in the Sham on Jan. 5. The son of Atreides won the Gold Rush at Golden Gate Fields two back at a mile on the synthetic surface in his stakes debut. Corey Lanerie picks up the call for the first time on the colt, who is 7-2 on the morning line.

The colt ran for a tag in his first two starts, a third in his debut against $62600 maiden claimers and he broke his maiden for a $80,000 price tag.

“Obviously, my judge of talent was suspect in the fact that I ran this horse for ($62,500) first time out,” Desormeaux said. “Part of that is because he is by a kind of an under-the-radar first-year sire. Not a big price as a yearling. The horse is totally built and has that mentality for distance, so he was not showing his cards early in the summer. That’s why I got away running him like I did.”

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The Todd Pletcher trained Cutting Humor is the 3-1 morning line favorite. The colt broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park West in his third career start and most recently ran second against Alw-1 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18.

The Southwest is the first of three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races at Oaklawn Park. The race serves as a prep for the $1 million Rebel (G2) on March 16 and the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 13.

Let’s head out to Hot Springs for Monday’s featured race of the day:

Oaklawn Park Race 9 The Southwest G2 Post time 5:09 CT

7 Sueno   7-2

10 Long Range Toddy   10-1

1 Gray Attempt   7-2

3 Cutting Humor   3-1


This colt ships in from the west coast for the Keith Desormeaux barn that won this race with My Boy Jack last year, who had run third in the Sham (G3) in his previous start. Our top pick rallied to finish second in this year’s Sham, beaten a length for the top spot. The winner Gunmetal Gray came back to run second in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita in his next start while the third and seventh place finishers came back to beat optional claimers in their next starts. The colt has moved forward in each outing and he looks primed for a top effort third off the bench. He was a $61,000 Keeneland purchase, by first crop sire Atreides out of the stakes winner Class Above ($214,748) who has dropped four other winners.

Long Range Toddy

This colt is sent out by the Steve Asmussen barn that won this race in 2014 with Tapiture. The colt pulled off the upset two back in the Springboard Mile at 18-1. Last out in the Smarty Jones the colt tracked the early pace while saving ground and finished gamely to miss by just a neck. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout and the extra half furlong her should suit him. Decent value if he goes off near his 10-1 morning line.

Gray Attempt

This colt set the early fractions and held on to win the three-way photo in the Smarty Jones. The William Fires trainee has now won three in a row, taking the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds two back at six furlongs in his stakes debut. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and with the rail draw figures to be sent early. There is not a ton of early speed signed up to go here and that makes him a major threat here.


WIN: Sueno to win at 3-1 or better.

EXACTA: 7,10 / 1,3,7,10

TRIFECTA: 7,10 / 1,3,7,10 / 1,3,7,10,11

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