Next-race plans are pending for My Boy Jack, who was to be flown to his Southern California base Feb. 21 following a dominant performance in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds Feb. 19 at Oaklawn Park.
My Boy Jack won the 1 1/16-mile race by 4 1/2 lengths, equaling the second-largest margin of victory in the Southwest since 2003. The race was lengthened from a mile to 1 1/16 miles in 2013.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux said Monday night that his challenge now is to find the best route to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) for My Boy Jack, who is owned by Don't Tell My Wife Stables (Kirk Godbey and Rob Slack) and Monomoy Stables (Sol Kumin).
My Boy Jack has 12 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, including 10 for his Southwest victory, and ranks 13th on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. Where the son of Creative Cause will attempt to increase his total next is up in the air, Desormeaux said.
"What it does to me, it kind of puts me in a tight spot because as a trainer, my first instinct, off of this race, and the body of work that this horse has—he's had plenty of starts, he's dead fit—I would totally just give him one more start before the Derby," Desormeaux said. "But, because of this point system, I have to think about a fallback plan."
Oaklawn's Kentucky Derby prep series continues with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 17 and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 14.
The Rebel awards 85 points to the top four finishers (50-20-10-5). The Arkansas Derby offers 170 points to the four finishers (100-40-20-10).
"If I do plan that one race, it wouldn't be the Rebel," Desormeaux said. "I would plan it like the Arkansas Derby or the (grade 2) Louisiana Derby, let's say. If I did that, then I wouldn't have time to get another race in him. It gets a little complicated. We'll get together with the ownership and talk about all the pros and cons. Hopefully, we make the right decision."
My Boy Jack, who made his third start on dirt Monday, has two wins from eight starts and earnings of $425,145. He came into the Southwest off a third-place finish in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (G3) Jan. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
My Boy Jack was already a stakes winner on grass and ran seventh, beaten three lengths, in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) Nov. 3 at Del Mar.