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One Liner Hits Derby Trail Running

One Liner joins Kentucky Derby 2017 Leaderboard - Feb. 20, 2017
One Liner joins Kentucky Derby 2017 Leaderboard – Feb. 20, 2017

One Liner made it three in a row by winning the G3 $500,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on President’s Day and joins the list of contenders on the Road to Kentucky Derby 2017.

Breaking from post position eleven in the field of 12, One Liner was in contention from the start as he raced down the backstretch in fourth place under John Velasquez has been aboard for all three of his career wins for trainer Todd Pletcher.

On a day when the forecast called for an 80% chance of rain, it looked like the Southwest Stakes favorite, Uncontested, who won the Smarty Jones over the slop in his previous start, was going to have it all his way on the lead as the even money favorite. But the rain never came.

Under jockey Channing Hill, Uncontested broke alertly from the inside and led the field through fractions of 22.93 and 46.55 with Petrov, runner-up in the Smarty Jones, second a length back throught the first 1/2 mile.

Watch the race replay of One Liner winning the 2017 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park

By the time they hit the top of the stretch Petrov had collared Uncontested, and One Liner, the eventual winner, was in hot pursuit. With Uncontested fading out of it they hit the 3/4 mile marker in 1:10.98. And from there it was a race to the wire with One Liner putting away Petrov at mid-stretch on his way to final fractions of 1:35.37 for the mile, finishing the 1 1/16 miles in a flashy 1:41.85.

One Liner hits the Derby trail running with 10 points. Petrov, clearly second best, added 4 points (giving him 8 to date). Third-place runner Lookin at Lee grabbed 2 more points bringing his total to 12, and Silver Dust gets a mention on the board with 1 point for finishing fourth.

The Road to the Derby continues at Oaklawn with the (G2) Rebel Stakes on March 18 and it will be interesting to see where One Liner will show up next for Pletcher.

Southwest Stakes 2017: Odds, Analysis, Forecast

Uncontested wins the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park
HOT SPRINGS, AR – January 16: Jockey Channing Hill, riding Uncontested #6, wins the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park on January 16, 2017 in Hot Springs, AR. (Photo by Ciara Bowen/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)

President’s Day racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs is shaping up to be just like it was the last time Uncontested was sent out by trainer Wayne Catalano…sloppy.

There’s an 80% chance of rain in the forecast for Monday. But the sloppy track condition had little effect on Uncontested as he easily took the 1 mile Smarty Jones over several of the same runners he’ll face in the 2017 running of the Southwest Stakes.

The G3 $500,000 Southwest Stakes at 1 1/16 miles is one of two Road to the Kentucky Derby races on the President’s Day weekend of racing in America as the top 3 year-olds in the country seek to earn points on the leader board towards a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Wiz Capper’s Oaklawn Park Picks for the Southwest Stakes

Here’s Wiz Capper’s analysis of the field by post position:

  1. Cool Arrow – Three wins from his last 4 starts facing lesser at Laurel and Remington. Second at Churchill two back vs. Warrior’s Club. Slop should be okay, but pace and distance are a concern.
  2. Silver Dust – Son of Tapit will be making his third start of young career off maiden score last time out at Churchill. Sitting on a couple of 5f bullet moves here last month. But it’s tough to win next time out and he’s been away from competition for nearly three months. Interesting nonetheless.
  3. Uncontested – Case in point. The inevitable favorite broke his maiden at first asking last October at Keeneland, then returned a month later in the KyJC at Churchill to finish 4th behind McCracken. But last time out in the Smarty Jones he dominated the field as the favorite earning a co-high BRIS speed figure 97 in the field.
  4. Lookin at Lee – Son of 2010 Rebel winner Lookin At Lucky has two wins from 6 starts so far but both have come at Ellis last summer. But if there’s any shining light he’s trained by future HOF trainer Steve Asmussen who has thought enough of this guy to send him out against G1 company in his last two starts.  Second in the G1 Breeders Futurity two back, and fourth last time out in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he’s drawn the 4 hole for the Southwest after starting from the 12 and 11 posts respectively in his last two.
  5. Rowdy the Warrior – Oklahoma bred runner broke maiden at Remington last September vs. open company. Was third beaten 10 lengths in the Smarty Jones last time out.
  6. Cu Rahy – Another whose only win was maiden score at Remington going 1 mile in the slop. Has been beaten by several others in here over the past few races including a 15 length defeat in the Smarty Jones.
  7. Warrior’s Club – Won a restricted stakes at Churchill as a maiden three back but wasn’t been able to up his game in the KyJC or the Smarty Jones when finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. Gets new rider for Lukas who’s having a decent meet with 6 winners from 39 starts. Cut or three below.
  8. Petrov – Broke maiden at Churchill going 6f in November. Was second next out and again behind Uncontested in the Smarty Jones last time. Ortiz sticks with him but have a feeling that this will be his last shot with top jock.
  9. Dilettante – Another Lukas trainee. Took him 8 starts to get his maiden win here last time out going 1 mile. Was second to Silver Dust three back in race that produced next out winner.
  10. Hence – Maiden victor last time out vs. next out winner Horse Fly. This one’s a ‘Calumet keeper’ meaning the bred and own this 3 year-old son of Street Boss who’s trained by Asmussen.
  11. One Liner – Pletcher sends this son of Into Mischief to Hot Sprints with two wins from as many starts, hoping to join the Road to the Derby as a relative unknown. Running line from last says he was “asked to gallop out” after an easy win going 6 at Gulfstream in an OC$75k/n1x when he earned the co-high BRIS speed 97 for this race. Tough spot to start from but expect big things from this guy.
  12. P C Cowboy – Third in last off maiden score two back. Was claimed for $20k from first career start three back. Sire won this race in 2011 when it was still run at 1 mile and took the G1 Arkansas Derby that year before finishing 15th to Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby.
  13. Chief Know It All – Broke maiden at Indiana Downs last summer. Third three times in a row before getting second victory last time out here in an OC$62,500/n2l. High, wide and outside for toughest test to date.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Final Odds for Pools 1 and 2

The Road to Kentucky Derby 143 continues this weekend with three races that are worth points towards a place in the starting gate on May 6.

Classic Empire currently sits atop the Leaderboard 10 points ahead of Gormley and 16 points ahead of Practical Joke.
kentucky-derby-2017-leaderboard

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools

If you like to get involved early on in the who’s who of Kentucky Derby hopefuls, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools offer a chance to get a solid price on a horse that otherwise might be the favorite on Derby Day.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools 1 and 2 have closed but you’ll still have a chance to place a bet in Pool 3 which runs from February 24 – 26, 2017, and Pool 4 which opens on March 31 and closes on April 2, 2017.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 Prices

As is most often the case, the “field” usually opens and closes as the favorite in Pool 1, and the field for the 2017 Kentucky Derby was no different when the windows closed for betting in Pool 1 on November 27, 2016.

Classic Empire closed at almost 7 to 1 and will payout $15.60 to his early backers if he runs and wins on May 6.

Of the horses currently in the top 10 on the leaderboard, only El Areeb (10th) was not available as in individual runner in Pool 1. If he were to win those who bet the “field” would get $4.40 back on a $2 wager.

Of the other 8 currently in the top 10, Gormley (2nd) closed at 37 to 1, Practical Joke (3rd) closed at 26 to 1, and Uncontested (4th) closed at a whopping 76 to 1.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Prices

Pool 2 closed on Sunday, January 29 with Classic Empire favored at a little more than 5 to 1, and the field closing at a solid 5 to 2.

5 to 2 seems like a nice price on the field, but the chances of there being a horse who hasn’t ‘hit the road’ yet is slim to none.

El Areeb, who was 6 to 5 as part of the field in Pool 1 before he won the G3 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, could have been bet at 32 to 1 in Pool 2 – a nice price if  you like him.

Gormley, Practical Joke, and Uncontested all closed lower in Pool 2 with Uncontested taking the biggest hit dropping to 25 to 1 after his win in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn on January 16.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3

Pool 3 runs the weekend of February 24 – 26, 2017 which is good because there are a ton of prep races that will run before Pool 3 closes.

There are three races on Saturday, February 4, 2017 that offer qualifying points to the first four finishers of the:

  • Withers – Aqueduct
  • Holy Bull – Gulfstream Park
  • Robert B. Lewis – Santa Anita Park

Entries and post positions for all three races will be drawn later in the week with Classic Empire scheduled to make his 2017 debut in the Holy Bull.

We’ll have updated information on these three Kentucky Derby prep races after the draw.