Greater Good Looking for Greater Glory in Southwest
Hard to believe that it's been precisely a year since Smarty Jones scored a hard-fought victory in the $100,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Is there another Smarty Jones in the Southwest this year?The odds are against it, but the folks at Bob Holthus' barn certainly believe they have an outstanding one in Greater Good, who will make his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's 40th running of the Southwest.Greater Good, a two-time graded stakes winner last year, is the only one of the Oaklawn "Big Three" to make the Southwest. The other two members of the "Big Three" club -- Afleet Alex and Rockport Harbor -- are training lights out over the track, and are scheduled to make their seasonal debuts in the $250,000 Rebel Stakes here March 19.Holthus, who in the course of a 50-year training career has won a record nine Oaklawn titles, has been saying for months that Greater Good, an Intidab colt owned by Lewis Lakin of Chicago, is the best young horse he's ever trained."We've been pointing for the Southwest all along, and now it's time to find out what we have," Holthus said. "I know he'll be the favorite, but the last I looked, he has to run around the track before they give us the check."As a 2-year-old, Greater Good won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park, and the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, both with eye-catching late runs. Overall, he was 3-0-1 from five starts in his juvenile campaign.A mile, with the short Oaklawn stretch, may not be the best venue for Greater Good, but Holthus is confident...up to a point. "I think he'll catch some of them," he says.John McKee, who rides everything in the barn for Holthus, has the call on Greater Good, who breaks from post three in a field of seven.The Southwest will be no stroll in the park for Greater Good. Other than stablemate Copy My Notes, a son of Souvenir Copy who will break from the one-hole with Tim Doocy, everything else in the field has been first or second in a stake.Foremost of these is a pair of speed horses -- Humor At Last, who was drawn widest with Jeremy Rose, and unbeaten Munificence, who will break from post six with Calvin Borel.Racing against Illinois-breds last year, Humor At Last, trained by Chicagoan Anthony Mitchell, won the six-furlong Sun Power Stakes at Hawthorne, and was second, beaten a half-length at 3-5 in a 14-horse field in the 1 1/16-mile Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity a month later at the same track.Humor At Last, by Distorted Humor , has been training well at Fair Grounds, working a half-mile in :47 3/5, and was shipped here this week from New Orleans.Munificence, like Humor At Last, will be tested for class in the Southwest. The Allen's Prospect gelding has won three starts, including the Triple Sec at Delta Downs most recently, but he has not been two turns nor has he been beyond seven furlongs.Borel, who posted career victory No. 4,000 here Wednesday, likely will send Munificence right to the top, and play catch me if you can.
If the rains come as predicted, Munificence moves way up. He won the Triple Sec in the mud by 8 3/4 lengths.The field for the Southwest, which will be run at 5:02 p.m. (CST) as race nine on a 10-race card, is completed by Silver Haze, My Parade, and Major League.Post -- Horse - Jockey - Weight
1. Copy My Notes - Tim Doocy - 119
2. My Parade - Terry Thompson - 117
3. Greater Good - John McKee - 119
4. Silver Haze - Cliff Berry - 115
5. Major League - Luis Quinonez - 119
6. Munificence - Calvin Borel - 117
7. Humor At Last - Jeremy Rose - 117
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