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Strong Mandate Faces Strong Field
Monday holiday simulcast racing will feature the $300,000 Grade III Southwest Stakes from Oaklawn Park. The Southwest is open to three-year-olds and will go on the dirt over 1 1/16 miles. The race has drawn a full field of 11, including the entry of Tanzanite Cat and Paganol, listed at 8-1 in the morning line. The ML favorite for the Southwest is Wayne Lukas’ Strong Mandate (2-1) who comes onto the race off a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November.
Top contender has a Grade I stakes win
A Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow, Strong Mandate captured the Grade I Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga in September, but was then a well-beaten seventh in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont. He has two firsts and a third in five lifetime starts, and will be ridden by Joel Rosario, who flies in for the mount after winning the San Vicente Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita. Second choice at 3-1 is Tapiture, who has hit the board in all four lifetime starts, breaking his maiden last out by winning the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill.
Florida-bred has a stakes win on the track
Other contenders in the field include the previously mentioned Tanzanite Cat, a Florida-bred who already this season has a win at Oaklawn, fighting back after giving up the lead to take the Smarty Jones Stakes at one mile. He finished just ahead of Walt and Coastline, both of whom are in here at 15-1 and 8-1, respectively. Also in with a shot is Ride On Curlin (6-1), third in the Champagne and who will be seeking his first stakes win. He did have an allowance score at Oaklawn a month ago, sprinting six furlongs.
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