Monday, February 16, 2015

Southwest Stakes 2015

Southwest Stakes (Grade III)
Purse - $300,000
Distance - 1 1/16 Miles
Surface Dirt

**J.S. Bach
Far Right
Private Prospect
The Truth or Else
Phenomenal Phoenix
Bold Conquest
Mr. Z
Bold Animaux

For many of these horses this will be a rematch of the Smarty Jones Stakes (see video):

Unfortunately for  # 10 Mr. Z. - he ran without a lot of disciple or control in the Smarty Jones Stakes.

It appears to me that in the first turn he's turning his head towards the infield, which is not an optimal racing style -- nor is sweeping to the middle of the track after coming out of the the second turn.

Mr. Z -- may be the most talented horse in this field -- however he also seems to be one of the least focused animals at this point in his career -- not terribly unusual for a three year old.....but he may have a case of Arrested Development......perhaps he should have been named......

Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
REALLY misses
Arrested Development
Mr. Z is the most experienced horse entering the Southwest Stakes -- and I believe at post time he could be the favorite - despite having only 1 victory in 9 outings. If Mr. Z can just hold off on making big mistakes he could be the one to watch after this race.
#2 Far Right is the current favorite - and he has enjoyed 2 wins in 7 outings -- (as you've likely already watched) - he was superb in the Smarty Jones - his timing and ability to ride the rail in the home stretch shows a maturity you look for as we approach the Triple Crown. However I'm having a hard time with only 2 wins in 7 attempts.

Currently I'm getting conflicting information about #1 J.S. Bach - I'm reading in some materials that he IS racing and in others that he will likely run next weekend in the Risen Star Stakes.

J.S. Bach is currently one out of seven of these horses to only have 1 victory going into this race -- however J.S. Bach is going off at 4/1 and could be looking to make a name for himself in this one.

This is just the kind of race that screams out a LONG SHOT to me -- Mr. Z is likely the superior horse, but seems to find new and unusual ways to lose.

If J.S. Bach runs - I like him -- but not at 4/1 odds.

If Far Right pulls off a victory here - he very well could be a contender.

But in honor or President's Day -- if I'm throwing out a couple of Washingtons or Lincolns - I like a few long shots in this one.

At 30-1 I like #7 Phenomenal Phoenix -- he hasn't matched up with this kind of competition, but I like his post position and I like his limited experience.

Also at 30-1 I like #12 Bold Animaux - same sire as Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, and he enters this one having won 3 out of 5 races. I fear he may not like the distance here, but at 30/1 he's worth a look.

And finally #9 Bold Conquest - sired by one of my favorites Curlin. 130 some days ago he finished 3rd (immediately behind Mr. Z) in the Breeders Futurity. He will likely come out rusty -- however in this field I'll might take the chance that he'll come out a rested and much better horse than he was last October.

For your betting dollar in this race I say Be BOLD, Be BACH or Be Phenomenal -

$5 - Win - Bold Conquest
$2 - Win - Bold Animaux
$2 - Win - Phenomenal Phoenix.

(If JS Bach runs - I'd likely do an exacta of JS Bach / Mr. Z and Bold Conquest - Bold Animaux and Phenomenal Phoenix -- for $5 -- but I don't think JS Bach is coming out to play.

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