Brian Nadeau’s Road to the Triple Crown: The Southwest Stakes

Oaklawn Park: The GIII, $750,000 Southwest at 1 1/16 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points 10-4-2-1)

by Brian Nadeau

Brian handicaps at Capital OTB and Horseplayer Now, and he’ll offer analysis and selections of Derby points races, hoping to make us all a little money as we head to the Belmont Stakes. Follow him on Twitter here.

Gold Street and Martin Garcia winning the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park in January. Coady Photography

Oaklawn Park gets serious with a very pricey renewal of the Southwest, as April’s Arkansas Derby draws in ever closer. With the locals looking like a bit of a mixed bag, the time might be right for a newcomer, and #9 ANSWER IN (3-1) fits the criteria, especially since this son of Dialed In has a stalking gear in a race loaded with speed and looks poised to close out a huge weekend for Cox. Don’t sleep on #7 VILLAINOUS (15-1) at a big price for Englehart, as this Wicked Strong colt got to two turns and looked like a new horse here in the mud last month and is another with the right running style to make a late dent. It’s put up or shut up time for #6 CHASE TRACKER (7-2), who looked great in his MSW win at Parx for Pletcher last year, then showed middling form in two subsequent stakes runs, though if this son of Verrazano has improved from age 2 to 3, he’s in with a big chance. It looks like #4 GOLD STREET (6-1) is the best of the locals, and he was a winner for us in the Smarty Jones, but the waters get deeper here and he likely won’t clear on a slow pace, so he’ll have to back that run up today.

Selections:

#9 Answer In

#7 Villainous

#6 Chase Tracker

#4 Gold Street

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