The $100,000 Southwest Stakes, the second of three local preps for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on April 10, lured a field of 10, including a pair of two-horse couplings, Feb. 28 at Oaklawn Park.
The one-mile Southwest isn't part of the Centennial Bonus this year at the Arkansas track. Aside from the $500,000 hike in the Arkansas Derby purse, Oaklawn is offering a $5-million bonus to a horse that sweeps the March 20 Rebel Stakes, the Arkansas Derby, and the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I)
Someday Farm's Smarty Jones, trained by John Servis, is undefeated in three career starts with a total winning margin of 27 3/4 lengths. At two, he won a maiden special weight race by 7 3/4 lengths in his debut, then romped by 15 lengths in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds.
In his first start around two turns, the Elusive Quality
colt won the one-mile and 70-yard Count Fleet Stakes Jan. 3 at Aqueduct.
Smarty Jones has been working smartly for his Oaklawn debut. On Feb. 18, he drilled six furlongs in 1:13 on a fast track.
Southwest entrants Mrs. James Winn's Pro Prado, trained by Bob Holthus, and Patricia Blass' Wildcat Shoes, trained by William "Jinks" Fires, finished first and second, respectively, in the Jan. 24 Mountain Valley Stakes at six furlongs at Oaklawn. Neither colt has won around two turns.
Kentucky-bred Pro Prado, by El Prado
, will be coupled with Proper Prado, another son of El Prado owned and bred by Winn and trained by Holthus. Proper Prado finished third in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs last November, and owns a victory around two turns.
Wildcat Shoes, by Forest Wildcat
, won the Sugar Bowl Stakes, a sprint, at Fair Grounds before his start in the Mountain Valley.
Here's the field, in post-position order, with jockeys and weights:
1 Number Juan Willie Martinez 112 pounds
2 Two Down Automatic Tim Doocy 112
3 Archie B Carlos Marquez Jr. 112
4 Proper Prado Luis Quinonez 117
5 South Africa Jamie Theriot 115
6 Got the Goods James Lopez 115
7 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott 122
8 Pro Prado John McKee 117
9 Pyramid Performer Joe Johnson 112
10 Wildcat Shoes Terry Thompson 117
Proper Prado and Pro Prado are coupled, as are Got the Goods and Wildcat Shoes. The Southwest, which features the "short stretch" run at Oaklawn, is the ninth of 10 races on the program with a post time of 5:02 p.m. CST.