HOT SPRINGS, AR – The $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), which highlights Saturday’s 11-race card, attracted a field of twelve 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations. Post time is 12 noon (C.T). The dates may have changed, but the results are still the same – large fields of quality 3-years-olds make their way to Hot Springs in route to the Arkansas Derby and ultimately the Kentucky Derby.
Oaklawn’s rich 3-year-old series kicked off January 1 with the $250,000 Smarty Jones, which offered 17 points and featured a field of 13. The Southwest Stakes has shifted to this Saturday from its longtime spot on Presidents’ Day. The 1 1/16-mile race offers a total of 17 points toward eligibility in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and is the second of four races offering points towards the Kentucky Derby. It will be followed by the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) (85 points) Feb. 26 and $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) (170 points) April 2.
“When we extended our live meet into December, we also made a significant shift in our 3-year-old stakes program,” Oaklawn President Louis Cella said. “So far, the feedback from the horsemen has been overwhelmingly positive, as seen in the large fields. We are really looking forward to Saturday’s race as well as the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. We are proud to see so many top 3-year-olds begin their year at Oaklawn.”
Saturday’s card will also feature the $200,000 Martha Washington Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, offering 17 points toward eligibility in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), and the $150,000 King Cotton Stakes for older male sprinters.
Post time for the Southwest Stakes, the 9th race, is scheduled for 4:22 p.m. All of Oaklawn’s stakes races on Saturday will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 as part of America’s Day at the Races.
Doors open to the public at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit Oaklawn.com.
Oaklawn Press release (edited)
Photo: Coady Photgraphy