Southwest Stakes Oaklawn
By Brent Sedo
In a large field that offers some good betting value, the Wayne Catalano-trained Uncontested has been made the slight morning line favorite for the Southwest at odds of 5-2. The Tiz Wonderful colt only has three races to his name so far, but he broke his maiden first time out to win by an easy six lengths at Keeneland last October.
He then stepped up to the graded-stakes ranks and could do no better than fourth in the (G2) Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill, but he redeemed himself in his most recent start, easily defeating several in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn that he will face again on Monday.
That race was run over a sloppy surface, and with rain expected at the track this week, he could very well repeat that performance, and is deserving of his favored satus.
A well-bred son of Street Boss, Hence (20-1) only broke his maiden last out in his fourth career start. But he has shown a positive race-after-race improvement, and it’s significant to note he gained his first win on a sloppy Oaklawn Park track.
After stumbling out of the gate, he ran four-wide through the first part of the race, ducking in at the 1/8 pole and still managed to get up for a 3/4 length win.
If he can manage to get around cleanly in the Southwest, he has a fair shot at getting on the ticket.
He’s one of two Steve Asmussen-trained colts in the field, the other being the more highly regarded Lookin At Lee (8-1), who was last seen running fourth in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Prior to that he ran second in two consecutive graded-stakes events, and has a win in a minor stake at Ellis Park.
Based on experience and the level of competition he has been running against, he rates a solid look, but he may need one race under his belt following the six months away from the track.
Breaking from the far outside post doesn’t help the cause of Chief Know It All (12-1), but he may possess the best early speed in the race, and if he can get out of the gate clean with any kind of position going into the first turn, that may be enough to keep him hanging around for piece at the end.
The Southwest Stakes goes Monday, February 20 from Oaklawn Park. Post time is 5:09 PM Central.
Entries w/ ML Odds
1) Cool Arrow (12-1)
2) Silver Dust (10-1)
3) Uncontested (5-2)
4) Lookin At Lee (10-1)
5) Rowdy The Warrior (20-1)
6) Cu Rahy (50-1)
7) Warrior’s Club (12-1)
8) Petrov (5-1)
9) Dilletante (15-1)
10) Hence (20-1)
11) One Liner (7-2)
12) PC Cowboy (30-1)
13) Chief Know It All (12-1)
#1 – Uncontested
#2 – Hence
#3 – Lookin At Lee
#4 – Chief Know It All