The plane that brought the winners of both divisions of the Grade III Southwest Stakes returned to California today, but trainer Bob Baffert has already vowed, “I shall return.”
Castaway and Secret Circle headed back home along with Longview Drive, who finished in a disappointing tie for sixth behind Castaway in division 1 of the Southwest.
Unbridled’s Note, who also shipped in from California and was bet down to 3-1 from a 10-1 morning line, remained at Oaklawn for trainer Steve Asmussen. He finished up the track following an awkward departure from the starting gate.
Division 1 runner-up Jake Mo, who’s not nominated to the Triple Crown, was doing well in the barn of Allen Milligan and could run in next month’s Grade II Rebel Stakes worth $500,000. It’s “on the table,” according to his handlers.
Division 2 runner-up Scatman was “bright, bug-eyed and hopping” shortly after leading Secret Circle to a quick finishing time according to trainer Michael Lauer’s assistant Kim Baronowski.
Adirondack King is remaining at Oaklawn for trainer John Servis and was sticking with his routine Wednesday after his third-place finish in the second division.
Reckless Jerry seemed to have “very little taken out of him,” according to trainer Kenny Smith, after his slightly troubled third-place finish in the first division. Indications are both horses will appear next in the Rebel, though Smith may choose to wait until the Arkansas Derby instead.
Smarty Jones Stakes winner Junebugred emerged from his letdown in the first division in relatively good fashion according to trainer Steve Hobby.
“It looks like it was a whole combination of things that got us,” Hobby said. “The main thing is he picked up a lot of weight to carry off that win, and he’s not that big a horse. Then he sat back a bit farther off the slower pace, and that didn’t help. We’ll regroup, see how he goes the next few weeks and decide where we go.”
Trainer Tim Ice will give one No Spin another chance after finishing in the three-way dead heat for sixth in the first stanza of the race – but not at Oaklawn. The colt will head to New Mexico for the Grade III Sunland Park Derby on March 25. No Spin is co-owned by Dr. Leonard Blach, one of the partners of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, who came out of the Sunland Derby.
Apprehender, who never settled while chasing the pace of the second division before fading to ninth, had a mild bout of colic after what was his second career race. Trainer Ingrid Mason said the gelding will aim for easier sprint races.
--Edited Oaklawn Park release