2008 Southwest Stakes Recap – Oaklawn Park

Denis of Cork charges from 18 lengths back to win Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com

Feb. 18, 2008 – Denis of Cork remained a perfect 3-for-3 with a professional win in the 43rd running of the one-mile $250,000 Southwest Stakes-G3 at Oaklawn Park on Monday.

Stalking fast fractions of 22 3/5, 45 1/5 and 1:10 4/5 set by sprinter Sacred Journey, Denis of Cork was 18 lengths off the pace at one point, but quickly made up ground from the outside late on the final turn and charged down the stretch to take over passing the sixteenth pole, drawing out late under new jockey Robby Albarado to win by 2 lengths over Sierra Sunset.

The latter, a Santa Anita shipper, stayed close to the pace throughout and made a bid inside the winner at the sixteenth pole before giving way. Sacred Journey gave way passing the sixteenth pole but held on to dead heat for third with Liberty Bull, 3 lengths back of Sierra Sunset. The final time for the mile over a fast track was 1:37 4/5.

Favorite Turf War ($2.30) broke inwards, was climbing mildly early and failed to show any interest, finishing ninth of 11.

Trained by David Carroll for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren, Denis of Cork paid $11.60 to win and increased his lifetime earnings to $198,552. The 3-year-old colt by Harlans Holiday-Unbridled Girl by Unbridled will now point towards the $300,000 Rebel Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth on March 15 at Oaklawn Park.

Denis of Cork was previously ridden by Calvin Borel to win his only other two lifetime starts, a 7-furlong Maiden Special Weight at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old and a $40,000 mile and 40-yard allowance on January 19 at Fair Grounds in the slop. Borel chose to ride Turf War in the Southwest.

Southwest Stakes Results and Payoffs
February 18, 2008 – Race 9 Oaklawn Park

8 Denis of Cork $11.60 $5.40 $3.60
6 Sierra Sunset $9.60 $6.40
3(DH) Liberty Bull $3.80
4 (DH) Sacred Journey $4.20

$2 Exacta 8-6 paid $141.80
$1 Trifecta 8-6-3 paid $401.30
$1 Trifecta 8-6-4 paid $391.60
$1 Superfecta 8-6-3-4 paid $4027.80
$1 Superfecta 8-6-4-3 paid $3519.90