A varied group of 3-year-olds will assemble for Monday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn, a Kentucky Derby points race.
Leading the way is Bob Baffert’s allowance winner Super Ninety Nine, who will have Robby Alabarado aboard for his first start outside of California. Impressive maiden winner Big Lute drew the far outside post.
Brown Almighty, who’s been training well since recovering from a lung infection that hampered him in the Smarty Jones, drew post two with Terry Thompson. The top three finishers from the Smarty Jones – Will Take Charge, Texas Bling and Always in a Tiz – are entered.
Welsch: My Name is Michael out of Fountain of Youth
The Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch reports My Name is Michael, third in the Sam F. Davis, will miss the Fountain of Youth. Trainer Bill Mott said the son of Macho Uno spiked a fever.
Capo Bastone triumphant in return – barely
Capo Bastone, making his first start since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, outdueled a pesky Offlee Fast on the rail for a close win at Gulfstream.
Making his debut for the Pletcher barn, the son of Street Boss sat off a very swift pace and made his trademark late move. Final time was on the slow side at 1:48.16 with a final split of 7:36.
Pletcher had another 3-year-old winner when Abraham, a son of Distorted Humor, broke his maiden going 1 1/8-miles in 1:52.91. Abraham was a bit green, as he shied at something and veered in the stretch, but held on for the one-length win over The Candidate.
Orb could go in Fountain of Youth
Trainer Shug McGaughey said allowance winner Orb might be added to the list of Fountain of Youth competitors.
“I’m going to work him on Monday and make up my mind,” McGaughey said. “I’m leaning that way, because there’s nowhere else to run him.”
Orb, a son of Malibu Moon, has won two straight, capped by that allowance win at Gulfstream at 1 1/8-miles.
“When I came down here after he broke his maiden, I thought it was a deal where I’d get to run him a couple times and then when we got him back to New York and we’d run him over the bigger track – and that’d be his gig,” McGaughey said. “He was a surprise the other day, but he was training awfully well for it.”
Oaks candidate Emollient endured a tough trip to win her second race in four starts, a 1 1.16-mile allowance Saturday at Gulfstream.
Emollient, a daughter of Empire Maker trained by Bill Mott, checked sharply and was trapped on the rail as pacesetter Majestic River led the way. Emollient and Joel Rosario were able to maneuver outside and catch the Todd Pletcher rival before the wire. Emollient crossed the wire in 1:46.37.