Drill back on track in San Vicente// Southwest racing tactics for 2 revealed// 11 drawn for Risen Star, El Padrino adds spice// Union Rags ready

Seemingly past his prime, not many really thought Drill could put in a winning effort in Sunday’s San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita.  He did just that in a hard fought stretch duel with runner-up American Act covering the 7-furlong distance in 1:21.28.  Before fully proclaiming Drill as a serious Kentucky Derby contender one needs to look at his past performances first.  He was entered in four route races as a two-year-old and beaten by a combined 46 lengths.  Even trainer Bob Baffert was quoted as saying “I wouldn’t run out and buy a future book bet on him”.  The semi-disappointment in the race was 1-2 favorite Creative Cause, who trailed the small four-horse field in the early stages before racing wide into the stretch and finishing a late closing third.  There’s no doubt he was doing his best running late and a stretch out in distance, most likely in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn, will only help.  Trainer Mike Harrington said it was just what they were looking for in Creative Cause’s return race.  American Act ran very admirably in only his second race and just missed his first graded stakes victory by a nose.  He set quick fractions and seems to do best when he’s on the lead, but that tactic is not recommended for Derby-caliber horses.  His pedigree also suggests 10-fulrongs could be too long.

The horseracing spotlight will be on the two Southwest Stakes (G3) races at Oaklawn Park on President’s Day.  For articles, PPs, and picks check out the upcoming page here.  It was reported Sunday that trainer Allen Milligan has been working on a more aggressive running style for King Corral who started well behind in the Smarty Jones Stakes.  The trainer has also been leaning harder on Jake Mo and plans are for the horse to set the pace Monday.

Entries were drawn well in advance of Saturday’s running of the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds.  11 colts and geldings will vie in the $300,000 Derby prep including Mr. Bowling, winner of the LeComte Stakes (G3) on the same track.  He will not only face five horses from that race again, but also a formidable new shipper in El Padrino, who will carry four less pounds.  Full entries can be viewed here  

Union Rags put in final preparations for next Sunday’s Fountain of Youth (G2) with a 4-furlong breeze from the gate at Palm Meadows.  Michael Matz says with a little more gate training this week the horse should be ready for his return// El Padrino apparently had an excellent 4 panel move for Todd Pletcher while stablemate Gemologist tired in his 5-furlong breeze.  That’s probably not too worrying at this point considering it was only his third work since a layoff and the longest of the year// Hansen fired a bullet move at Gulfstream breezing 5-furlongs in 59 flat, the quickest of 31 others at the distance// Delta Jackpot (G3) winner Sabercat is continuing his steady workout routine at Santa Anita ahead of the San Felipe (G2).

Monday- Southwest Stakes (G3)- for PPs, articles, and picks click here
Saturday- Risen Star Stakes (G2)- entries

San Vicente (G2)
Winner: Drill
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Replay: YouTube
Wrap-up Articles: DRF / TTimes / Brisnet / Bloodhorse
Beyer Speed Figure: 94 (Preliminary)

Oaklawn Barn Notes 2/19 (Oaklawn Park)
Risen Star Preview articles: DRF / Brisnet / Bloodhorse

Power World- PAY- 3F- 36:40 -B- 2/7
Sabercat- SA- 5F- 1.01:80- H- 23/37
Midnight Transfer- SA- 7F- 1.25:20- H- 2/4
Hansen- GP- 5F- 59:00- H- 1/31
Currency Swap- GP- 4F- 47:00- H- 2/32
Gemologist- PMM- 5F- 1.03:88- B- 29/32
Dan and Sheila- PMM- 5F- 1.01:56- B- 9/32
Midnight Serenade- CRC- 3F- 37:00- B- 2/9
Union Rags- PMM- 4F- 48:81 B- 7/18
El Padrino- PMM- 4F- 48:91- B- 14/18

Chips All In- SA- 4F- 46:80- B- 1/8 (Turf)
Empire Way- HOL- 5F- 1.01:80- H- 30/50
Isn't He Clever- SUN- 5F- 1.01:40- B- 2/21
Shkspeare Shaliyah- BEL- 4F- 49:66- B- 49/98
My Adonis- BEL- 5F- 1.00:27- B- 1/22
Friscan- FH- 5F-1.01:00- B- 3/10
Hakama- FH- 4F- 50:40- B- 4/5
Hogy- HAW- 4F- 50:40- B-17/49
Gold Megillah- PMM- 5F- 1.02:05- B- 12/23
Casual Trick- PMM- 5F- 1.00:41- B- 3/23
Prospective- PMM- 5F- 1.01:62- B- 6/23
Motor City- PMM- 4F- 51:12 B- 32/39
Hello Prince- CRC- 4F- 51:00- B- 42/71
Hammers Terror- FG- 4F- 48:80- B- 14/62 (Good)
Ted's Folly- FG- 4F- 51:20- B- 48/62
Dullahan- GP- 5F- 1.01:80- B- 14/26
Mr. Prankster- TP- 4F- 49:20- B- 6/13