Collected invades for Baffert, Discreetness receives post 14 in Southwest

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February 12th, 2016

Top contenders Collected and Discreetness will start from opposite ends of a 14-horse starting gate in Monday’s $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-mile event is the last race in the “Prep Season” portion of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.

Collected and Discreetness have already earned 10 points toward a Kentucky Derby berth, with Collected winning the January 9 Sham (G3) at Santa Anita and Discreetness taking the January 18 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who has won four editions of the Southwest in the last six years (race was split into divisions in 2012), Collected opened his racing career with a pair of turf outings before making his first dirt start in the Sham. The City Zip colt will start from the rail with regular rider Martin Garcia.

Discreetness must overcome the far outside post with Jon Court. Unplaced in his first two stakes attempts, the Jinx Fires-trained son of Discreet Cat broke through with a victory in the December 13 Springboard Mile at Remington Park before scoring by a neck in the Smarty Jones.

Horseplayers have plenty of other options in the large field.

Gordy Florida ran a big race in the Smarty Jones, putting away the heavily favored Toews on Ice on the front end before being caught late by Discreetness. Synchrony rallied well for third while making his stakes debut in the Smarty Jones and is eligible to keep improving off the encouraging effort. Luna de Loco finished a respectable fourth while making only his second career outing in the Smarty Jones and also could continue to show more on President’s Day.

Z Royal is another with stakes-experience, finishing fifth in the Lecomte (G3) when making his first start against winners last time. Siding Spring will make his first appearance since a 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), beaten only five lengths by champion 2-year-old Nyquist. Bird of Trey invades off a fourth in the January 2 Jerome (G3) at Aqueduct and Suddenbreakingnews was last seen finishing a nose second to Discreetness in the Springboard Mile.

Cutacorner and Whitmore each merit a look following nice allowance tallies at the Hot Spring, Arkansas track.

Rounding out the Southwest field are American Dubai, Torrontes and War Stroll.

Collected winning the Sham courtesy of Benoit Photos

Discreetness winning the Smarty Jones courtesy of Coady Photography