Strong Contenders Face Off in Southwest Stakes

Monday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park features arguably the strongest field of Kentucky Derby prep races held so far this year.

How can I tell: the 11 horse field contains 7 horses earning votes in Volume I of the WirePlayers Derby Dozen (STRONG MANDATE, TAPITURE, TANZANITE CAT, KENDALL’S BOY, RIDE ON CURLIN, BOURBONIZE, and LOUIE’S FLOWER).

The 2-1 morning line favorite #7 STRONG MANDATE earned solid support from the Derby Dozen panel with one first place vote and a 4th place overall ranking. His game 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after overcoming a wide post and re-rallying in the stretch showed he has heart and can handle adversity. That will serve him well if he makes the Kentucky Derby.

From a betting standpoint there’s a couple long shots in here that made my personal Derby Dozen list: #4 LOUIE’S FLOWER (12-1) and #11 BOURBONIZE (15-1). They have potential to outrun their odds and make a statement. If the track is wet I like their chances even more.

Enjoy the races and good luck!

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