Multiple stakes winner Discreetness worked an easy half-mile in :50 over a fast-rated surface Wednesday morning at Oaklawn, his final major move for Monday's $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3). He breezed after the renovation break under regular rider Jon Court, the son-in-law of the colt's trainer, Jinks Fires of Hot Springs.
Fires called the work “perfect” because “:50” was the time he was seeking from Discreetness, who opened his 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn.
“Jon said he might have gone a little fast because the track was deep this morning,” Fires said. “But, Jon said he handled the track like he owned it.”
The 1 1/16-mile Southwest is Oaklawn's second major prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16 and offers 17 qualifying points toward starting eligibility in the Kentucky Derby, including 10 to the winner.
The Southwest is expected to attract a large field, including Discreetness, Gordy Florida and Synchrony, the top three finishers in the Smarty Jones, and the Bob Baffert-trained Collected, who won the $100,000 Sham Stakes (G3) Jan. 9 at Santa Anita. Baffert has won the Southwest four times since 2010.
Projected Southwest starter Luna de Loco, who was fourth in the Smarty Jones, worked a half-mile in :50.20 after the break Tuesday morning for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen.
After working a half-mile in :50.20 before the break Tuesday morning, trainer Kenny McPeek said he was leaning toward starting War Stroll in the Southwest. War Stroll broke his maiden at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 28 at Oaklawn in his last start.
Post positions for the Southwest will be drawn Friday.
Discreetness also won the $250,000 Springboard Mile Dec. 13 at Remington Park.Springboard runner-up Suddenbreakingnews is also scheduled to run in the Southwest.
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