Sunday, February 19, 2017

Handicapper's Corner: Southwest Stakes (G3)

Southwestern Cookin'

By: Dylan J

The road to the Kentucky Derby through Arkansas and Oaklawn Park starts with the GIII Southwest Stakes, a Presidents Day tradition. Over the years this race has featured some great horses including probably my all time favorite, Caleb’s Posse. Getting back to this year’s race, we have an interesting field of 13 and with showers likely on Monday, it’s wide open.
Oaklawn Park Race 9 – Grade III 1 1/16  Mile
 Post Time – 6:06pm (Eastern)

Advance Weather: Rain Showers, 70s

The pace of this race is a little tricky to figure out as there are some horses that have never run around two turns, combine that with a potential off track it’s hard to know exactly whose going to go and whose not. It certainly looks like #1 COOL ARROW (12-1) and #3 UNCONTESTED (5/2) are going to go for the lead. UNCONTESTED is going to get plenty of play at the windows as he won the Smarty Jones stakes last start on a sloppy track. You have to use him on your ticket but this is a much tougher race and will not be as easy to wire the field.

#11 ONE LINER (7/2). Trained by Todd Pletcher, he looks to have that perfect stalker running style that you need to win the KY Derby. He has plenty of questions though and betting Pletcher usually comes with a short price. He is stretching out around two turns for the first time and has never run on a sloppy track. Those are easy reasons not to bet a horse at a short price; I’ll use him underneath in exotics.

The horse I’m most intrigued with is #13 CHIEF KNOW IT ALL (12-1). A winner last start over this Oaklawn surface and is a hard-knocking, blue-collar horse. He gives you an honest effort every time, having been floated wide, trapped and blocked in prior races and still manages to hit the board. The outside post does not help but as long as he can save some ground on the first turn and sit mid pack up the backstretch, I like him with the upset.

My Plays:

Win: #13

Exacta: 13/1,3,8,11

Trifecta: 13/1,3,8,11/1,3,4,8,11

Good Luck!

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