Southwest Stakes Day spot plays at Oaklawn Park

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

February 15th, 2020

The $750,000 Southwest (G3) tops a strong Holiday card at Oaklawn Park on Monday. The 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby event is accompanied by a pair of competitive Grade 3 tilts, and I have an opinion on each of the black-type events.

Southwest (G3)

I was on #4 Gold Street (6-1) at a nice price when he led throughout in the Smarty Jones S. most recently for Steve Asmussen. And while the sophomores faces a tougher task on Monday, I give the Street Boss colt a huge chance while in a superb current form cycle.

Kentucky-bred has improved his Brisnet speed figure in every lifetime performance and I see no reason why he can't do it again in the Southwest. The colt is not a one-hit wonder, nor is he dependent on a sloppy or muddy oval> He is simply very talented and thriving right now.

Razorback H. (G3)

The 1 1/16-miles endeavor attracted a well-matched field that is laden with early runners. Grade 1 victor #2 Math Wizard (4-1) leads the cast, but I am not sure this is an ideal spot to commence his 4-year-old campaign for Saffie Joseph Jr.

#1 Exulting (15-1) is most interesting at a healthy price for Mike Maker. Tapit gelding was a fast-closing winner of the 2019 Oaklawn Mile in his lone prior try on the surface, and he will receive a robust pace to rally while saving ground from the rail. Dark bay adds blinkers and has trained well in preparation of his return to Oaklawn.

Bayakoa (G3)

Larry Jones' #6 Whoa Nellie (5-2) was at 20-1 on the morning-line for the Pippin S. in her 2020 debut, but word was obviously out on the filly as she went postward as the 2-1 favorite. And she delivered with a powerful win against a solid field while racing against a bias.

Orb 4-year-old has won or placed in eight of her nine lifetime appearances, and she is in line for a big 2020 season with expected improvement off her latest. Fox Hill Farm's color bearer faces another cast with a lot of pace signed on, and I expect her to circle her foes in the stretch once again under Joe Rocco.