Suddenbreakingnews passes them all en route to Southwest win
Trailing the field of 14 to the far turn and still having to pass 13 rivals with about three furlongs remaining, Suddenbreakingnews was eased out by Quinonez to commence a seven-wide rally entering the stretch. Blowing past rivals in upper stretch but still having to erase a 5 1/2-length deficit in the final furlong, Suddenbreakingnews did just that and more as the Samuel Henderson-owned bay piled on after taking the lead, passing the wire 2 3/4 lengths clear of 3-1 second choice Whitmore.
Part of a 4-1, Donnie Von Hemel-trained entry with the more-fancied Synchrony, who wound up sixth, Suddenbreakingnews paid $10.20 after completing the distance on a good track in 1:45.14. Suddenbreakingnews earned 10 qualifying points toward Kentucky Derby eligibility as the Southwest was part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.
"This horse ran such a nice race today," Quinonez said. "We stayed behind everyone, which helped my horse relax and it kept us out of trouble, I could see ahead of us that there were some horses in front of us that were getting in trouble. I think it helped my horse keeping him relaxed. I let him run his race. When he started making a move I tried inside but there was nothing there. I moved him outside and with his long stride he started picking it up quick. I told myself down the lane, 'We got this.'"
Whitmore, who raced slightly ahead of Suddenbreakingnews but could not turn in as effective a turn of foot in the stretch, rallied for second by a half-length over American Dubai, who had tracked in second behind pacesetter Siding Spring through splits of :23.10, :47.06, and 1:12.30. Collected, the 5-2 favorite off a victory in the Sham (G3), finished an ineffective fourth and was followed by Siding Spring, and Synchrony, and Discreetness.
The latter, who defeated Suddenbreakingnews in the $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington by a nose December 13 and went on to capture the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn last month, was stranded in post 14 for the Southwest and was essentially eliminated after racing eight wide into the first turn.
Major traffic trouble occurred in the clubhouse turn when longshot Z Royal took up in traffic and bothered another longshot, the Jack Van Berg-trained Cutacorner.
This was the season debut for Suddenbreakingnews, who won two times in five starts at two and missed two other times in photo finishes. Disqualified from first and placed second in his debut on the turf at Remington Park going 7 1/2 furlongs, he rebounded to break his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths going a mile on the main track.
Second by a neck in a one-mile allowance in his next start, he then captured the $101,000 Clever Trevor by a half-length going seven furlongs. He concluded his juvenile campaign with the aforementioned loss in the Springboard Mile.
A $72,000 Keeneland September yearling bred by Branch Equine LLC in Kentucky, Suddenbreakingnews is out of the Afleet Alex mare Uchitel. The gelding's second dam is Grade 3 winner Party Cited, who reared Grade 1 winner Composure and Grade 3 winner Ready Set. Composure herself is the dam of Penwith, who captured Saturday's Royal Delta (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
"I think that's the most likely next race," said Von Hemel when asked whether Suddenbreakingnews would be pointed toward the $900,000 Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn on March 19.