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Feb 17, 2012

Baffert goes after another Southwest at Oaklawn

By: SPORTS NETWORK


 

Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Trainer Bob Baffert has decided to start a pair of three-year-olds in Oaklawn Park's Southwest Stakes on Monday led by a Breeders' Cup race winner. The $250,000 mile race is part of the track's Kentucky Derby prep series.

Tuesday morning Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle arrived at Oaklawn along with stablemate Castaway. The two colts are expected to make up what appears to be a large field for the Southwest.

"I think we brought two very good horses," Baffert's assistant trainer Jim Barnes said .

Secret Circle, owned by Karl Watson, Paul Weitmann and Mike Pegram, will be the top money earner in the race with $368,990, most of it coming from his length victory in the Juvenile Sprint last November at Churchill Downs. He began his 2012 season with a second-place performance to Out of Bounds in Santa Anita's Sham Stakes last month.

"He just got beat. He didn't shut it down. He wasn't exhausted when he came back, so it was a good experience for him," Baffert noted after the Sham. "It was the first time he was able to rate off of horses. I think he got a lot out of it."

Castaway is in a different situation having just broken his maiden less than four weeks ago at Santa Anita. Owned by Coolmore, the colt has raced once a month since his career debut in August at Del Mar. He won for the first time last month in a 1 1/16-mile maiden claiming race.

Baffert won the 2010 Southwest with Conveyance and the last two runnings of Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes with 2010 Eclipse Award champ Lookin at Lucky and last year with The Factor.



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