Private Emblem and Paloma Parilla won their respective divisions of the split $75,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
With 16 horses entered in the one-mile race, Oaklawn Park split the race in two divisions. Though the second division may have looked stronger on paper, the first division produced the faster final time – and quicker fractional times – with James Cassels and Bob Zollars' New York-bred Private Emblem earning the three-quarter length victory over 29-1 longshot Dusty Spike. Under Donny Meche, the Steven Asmussen-trained son of Our Emblem completed the mile in 1:40.29 on a muddy track to earn $45,000 for his third win in six career starts. He came into the race off a short break following a win in the 7 1/2-furlong Black Gold Handicap on the turf course at Fair Grounds.
Favored Clergy suffered his first career defeat in finishing third, 2 3/4 lengths behind Dusty Spike. Missme, Richest Half, King Zonic, Contested, and Red and Rare completed the order of finish.
Private Emblem paid $10.40 for the win and led a $169.20 exacta.
In the second division run one race after the first, raced well off the rail and close to the pace, inched to a half-length lead in the stretch, and just held on to beat another 29-1 longshot, Cope With an Image, by a head.
Maryland-bred Paloma Parilla came into the race out of a six-length allowance win at Oaklawn last month and is trained by Larry R. Ribideaux Jr. for Barnett Stables. The son of Dove Hunt completed the mile in 1:41.70 to earn his third win from five starts.
Windward Passage closed from seventh to finish third, a neck a head of Bay Monster. Interminable Gold, Cash in Hand, 4-5 favorite Cojet, and Fisher Station.
Sent off at just over 8-1, Paloma Parilla retuned $18.20 for the win. Cope With an Image completed the $307.40 exacta.
Berkshire Stud and Oak Cliff Stable bred Private Emblem; Paloma Parilla was bed by Colts Ltd.
Another talented 3-year-old was in action on the undercard. San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) fourth-place finisher Bringem Jung won his debut for trainer Lynn Whiting in a six-furlong allowance race, completing the distance in 1:12.50 on a sloppy track. (Charts, Equibase