Zabeel Racing International’s Conveyance remained undefeated in four starts, as he sprinted to an early lead then held off late bids from Dublin and Cardiff Giant to win the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) Feb. 20 at Oaklawn Park.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Conveyance was coming off a similar front-running victory in the San Rafael (gr. III) Jan. 16 at Santa Anita and making his first start on dirt. The son of Indian Charlie
broke smartly from post 9 under Martin Garcia, who replaced regular rider Garrett Gomez, and shot right to front. He was pressed by longshot Cool Bullet
, while Smarty Jones Stakes winner Dryfly
also stayed close to the pace, and Mission Impazible
raced three-wide in the early going.
Conveyance had to earn his lead, as he posted splits of :22.78, :46.25, and 1:10.67. Cardiff Giant, runner-up in the San Rafael, split horses rounding the far turn to get into contention, while Dublin, who was off a step slowly, came from further back for his four-wide stretch run. Conveyance held a 2 1/2-length lead entering the final furlong and was asked for more to hold off game efforts from Cardiff Giant and Dublin inside the sixteenth-pole. He hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front in a final time of 1:36.94 for one mile on a fast track.
Dublin rallied to get second by 1 1/2 lengths over Cardiff Giant. Mission Impazible was fourth in a field of 10 sophomores.
A maiden winner Oct. 31 at Santa Anita, Conveyance scored by seven lengths in allowance company less than a month later at Hollywood Park. His previous owner, Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable, privately sold the gray/roan colt to Zabeel shortly before the San Rafael triumph. Bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms, Conveyance is out of the Holy Bull mare Emptythetill. He has earned $254,400.
Conveyance paid $5.60, $4, and $3.40 as the favorite. Dublin helped fill out a $33 exacta (9-3) and the trifecta (9-3-5) was $174.40 for $1.
Crider was fifth, followed by Domonation, Pleasant Storm, Cool Bullet, Dryfly, and Kitty's Turn.
Dublin, the Three Chimneys Hopeful (gr. I) winner last summer at Saratoga, was making his 3-year-old debut for D. Wayne Lukas after undergoing surgery for an entrapped epiglottis. He was ridden by Terry Thompson for the first time.
The 45th running of the Southwest was originally scheduled for Feb. 15, but a frozen track cut that day's racing short.