Saturday is all about Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park. The two most important races on the calendar are at Gulfstream and Oaklawn. At Gulfstream Park, we have the biggest prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby this weekend in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Then in Arkansas at Oaklawn, the Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3) is offering 10 points for a win.
While there aren’t as many points available in this event, the prize money towers over the Fountain of Youth. The Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3) is offering $750,000 compared to $300,000 for the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Along with the Southwest, we have the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3) at Oaklawn on Saturday.
Oaklawn Park has 11 races expected to be run in Hot Springs on Saturday. There is a total of $1,967,000 in prize money available to edge out Gulfstream Park as the feature track of the weekend in the US. Head below for our free Oaklawn Park selections and Southwest Stakes pick for February 27, 2021.
Post Time: 2:15 a.m. CST
In our first pick at Oaklawn Park, we’ll make a stop at Race 5 for a $27,500 event covering 6 furlongs on the main track. Davidic Line and General Trev are two competitors that should be held in high regard for this assignment. Davidic Line is a winner in one out of 14 races in his career. He has finished 2nd, 5th, 6th, 4th, 2nd in his previous five trips, so okay, but inconsistent recently.
His most recent entry was a solid effort, placing 2nd behind Sharecropper by 8 lengths in a $32,000 event. Davidic Line will move down in class for this outing on Saturday. The drop in competition should put Davidic Line somewhere in the mix during the stretch run. His biggest opponent in this race has to be General Trev.
General Trev is forecast to have a big career. After two outings, General Trev looked like a horse going places in his career. The gelding has finished 1st and 2nd in two appearances on February 29, 2020 and April 4, 2020. As a rookie, General Trev was a winner over Hunt the Floor by 1 ¾ lengths in a $87,000 assignment.
He was unable to repeat in the spring, but still ran a big race to place 2nd behind Finnick the Fierce in a $61,000 race. General Trev is coming off a layoff, but his work in the morning has been encouraging. If he runs anything like he was before the break, then General Trev should clear this competition relatively easily.
Race 8 – Spring Fever Stakes
Post Time: 3:52 p.m. CST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
The $200,000 Spring Fever Stakes is one of three stakes races at Oaklawn on Saturday. This 5 ½ furlong race will take place on the dirt. Amy’s Challenge and Kimari likely battle in the stretch for the win in Race 8. Amy’s Challenge is 8 for 20 in her career, and has finished top-2 in five of his previous seven outings.
She finished 1st and 2nd in her previous two outings, both stakes races. Amy’s Challenge beat Unique Factor by 2 ¼ lengths in the $150,000 McConnell Springs Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths. She was able to come back for another bold performance on January 30 to place 2nd.
Amy’s Challenge was short by 1 ¼ lengths behind Frank’s Rockette in that assignment, the $150,000 American Beauty Stakes. Frank’s Rockette is a really talented horse, and was expected to be too tough for the field going into that race. A loss for Amy’s Challenge there wasn’t surprising.
Kimari from the outside should prove to be a horse to watch closely. She is a four-time winner across eight races in her career. In the biggest assignment of her career, Kimari held up well in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (Gr. 2) to finish 4th against a tough field in 2019.
Since that performance, Kimari has finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd. She won the $100,000 Purple Martin Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths over Frank’s Rockette on April 4, 2020. At Ascot over the pond, Kimari ran well in the Commonwealth Cup (Gr. 1) to place 2nd.
She has been on a bit of a layoff since showing 3rd on September 15 at Kentucky Downs in the $400,000 Music City Stakes. It wasn’t a bad effort to show 3rd, but more is expected from Kimari. She has been incredibly quick in workouts leading up to Saturday. Kimari was timed at 59.55 and 57.35 seconds at 5 furlongs. That form suggests a superior run for Kimari on Saturday.
Race 10 – Southwest Stakes
Post Time: 4:58 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 10 is the $750,000 Southwest Stakes, the biggest race in the world on Saturday. This is going to be a highly entertaining race between two horses regarded as potential winners of the Kentucky Derby in May. It’s going to make for a must-watch duel between Jackie’s Warrior and Essential Quality. Jackie’s Warrior has the talent to win this race and beyond. He is a four-time winner in five races.
His win streak ended at four races, which included wins in the $150,000 Saratoga Special (Gr. 2) on August 7, $250,000 Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (Gr. 1), and $250,000 Champagne Stakes (Gr. 1). His win streak was disrupted on November 6 in the $2,000,000 TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Gr. 1). Despite the loss, expect Jackie’s Warrior to have his say with a chance to bounce back against Essential Quality.
Essential Quality won by ¾ lengths ahead of Hot Rod Charlie, and comfortably ahead of Jackie’s Warrior by around 3 lengths. He went off with excellent kick in the final furlong, while Jackie’s Warrior weakened and gave way at the same time. Joel Rosario ran an excellent race aboard Essential Quality.
He is a perfect three for three in his career, which also includes a win in the $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity (Gr. 1) by 3 ¼ lengths on October 3. It would not be surprising to see an all out duel between Jackie’s Warrior and Essential Quality. Highly entertaining race that sets up plenty of Kentucky Derby hype. Look out for Essential Quality late at the wire