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Oaklawn Park may have been forced to reschedule Monday's $250,000 Southwest S. (G3) to Saturday, but there were no defections from the one-mile test.
"We have the same 10 back for Saturday," stakes coordinator Craig Lytel said of three-year-olds scheduled to line up for the two-turn event.
A field of 10 three-year-olds will line up for Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, the top local prep for the March 20 Florida Derby (G1), but only half have generated enough enthusiasm so far to be considered candidates for the win in the nine-furlong fixture. The two likely to attract the most wagering support are BUDDY'S SAINT (Saint Liam) and JACKSON BEND (Hear No Evil), among the leading juveniles of 2009 who competed exclusively on dirt.
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The horses that ran one-two-three in the California Derby on January 16 will meet again Saturday in the $150,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields. Ten three-year-olds are signed up for the 29th running of Northern California's premier steppingstone to the Triple Crown events.
The Craig Family Trust's homebred SIDNEY'S CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]) moved to the front soon after the gates opened on Monday's $150,000 San Vicente S. (G2) at Santa Anita and was never headed en route to a 4 1/4-length victory under jockey Joe Talamo.
"I was confident he'd bounce back with a good effort today," Talamo said. "(Trainer) John (Sadler) told me to just get a good start and go from there. At the three-eighths I just kind of clucked to him and he got right into the bridle.
With frigid weather conditions affecting the Hot Springs, Arkansas, region, Oaklawn Park was forced to cancel live racing after the 4TH race on Monday. As a result, the eagerly-anticipated feature, the $250,000 Southwest S. (G3), has been postponed to Saturday.
Oaklawn officials noted Monday that severe winds, and the concomitant bitter wind chill, created potentially hazardous racetrack conditions.
The one-mile Southwest will now be redrawn. Entries will be taken on Thursday, and the Southwest will headline the 10-race card set for Saturday.
Saturday's $300,000 Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds has the look of a regional showdown. Florida invaders DISCREETLY MINE (Mineshaft), DROSSELMEYER (Distorted Humor) and TEMPTED TO TAPIT (Tapit) are scheduled to descend upon New Orleans to test the best of the locally-based three-year-olds, including Lecomte S. (G3) hero RON THE GREEK (Full Mandate) and impressive allowance/optional claiming winners STAY PUT (Broken Vow) and HOTEP (A.P. Indy).
MAXIMUS RULER (Roman Ruler), runner-up behind Ron the Greek (Full Mandate) in the January 23 Lecomte S. (G3) at Fair Grounds, will not run in Saturday's Risen Star S. (G2) after coming up with a slight injury following a breeze Sunday morning at the New Orleans oval.
"He didn't want to place his right hind foot down toe to heel when he was being walked yesterday afternoon," trainer Clark Hanna said Monday morning. "Usually, he walks very forwardly, but when we took his shoe off his foot seemed to be a little sensitive.