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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


The 1-1/16 miles of the Southwest Stakes for three-year-olds, the first significant Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby prep in Hot Springs, is one for Triple Crown fans to watch as a possible barometer of future success.

I don’t know the gentleman but it appears that owner Mike Mccarty must be living right. His Gold Street began his career with three losses, although he finished second twice–but then it rained. And since then he’s won three straight on wet tracks, including the Smarty Jones mile prep for this.

As this is written Saturday evening, the forecast for Monday in Hot Springs is for–you guessed it–rain. If that’s the case, Gold Street (6-1) very logically could take his fourth straight, and he’s has plenty of pedigree to handle today’s added sixteenth.

On fast going, we’d look at two others to top our exacta tickets; Chase Tracker (7-2), in from SoFla for Todd Pletcher, who’s deadly shipping into Oaklawn Park, and Answer In (3-1), a very promising Brad Cox-trained gelded bay horse.

Chase Tracker is a tactical type that has distance experience. Answer In (3-1) is stretching a bit off his excellent second in the Springboard Mile and has more than enough paper on his bottom side for the slightly longer trip.

It’s hard to take a firm position this far out, but if the track is wet 6-1 would be a pipe dream on Gold Street; 4-1 would be fair.

However, with fast footing, Steve Asmussen other two three-year-olds, Silver Prospector and Shoplifted, would have a lot to say about this result. Sometimes, fun is costly. We’ll rely on the tote, and the weatherman, to tell us what to do.

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