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Southwest Stakes

$750,000 Southwest Stakes, Jan. 28, 2023 

Winner: Arabian Knight, by Uncle Mo
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: John Velazquez
Owner: Zedan Racing Stables
Distance / time: 1 1/16 miles / 1:43.50 (sloppy, sealed)
Win margin: 5 ½ lengths

Wizard’s Track Bias:  Speed favoring 3 / 5
Wizard’s pace analysis: Fast
Wizard’s strength of race rating: 3 / 5 
Wizard’s Southwest Stakes reflection: 

There he was-Arabian Knight cantering back towards the winner’s enclosure and then everyone else heading back to their barns. This $2.3 million 2-year-old auction purchase invading Oaklawn Park from Santa Anita by trainer Bob Baffert, toying with 7-rivals, gliding over the sealed sloppy surface, on his way to an authoritative 5 ½ length victory. From the start, John Velazquez rationed out his early speed under a strong hold, gliding over the wet going. Arabian Knight was given his cue in mid-stretch to distance himself from the rest. 

This was only Arabian’s Knight’s second start and first start around 2 turns. He’s a physical specimen with a speed and distance pedigree. His stride is long and smooth and he rates comfortably. Both his wins have come on the front end, but with his ability to relax early, I would not put it past Arabian Knight that he can be just as effective sitting a stalk and pounce trip. Clearly one to keep your eyes on as the distance of his races increase and his competition gets saltier. I’m not interested in anyone else in this field as a Kentucky Derby prospect.

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