Maycocks Bay, Wynstock Top 12-Horse Southwest Field

Maycocks Bay, Wynstock Top 12-Horse Southwest Field

An impressive display of “good energy” in a 10 ¾-length romp at the Fair Grounds in his 3-year-old debut has Maycocks Bay in the favorite’s role for Saturday’s $800,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

After a maiden win in four starts as a 2-year-old, the Godolphin homebred started fast, led by five lengths in upper stretch and “kicked away, good energy,” as the Equibase chart reads.

The Jan. 7 off-the-turf allowance optional claimer was 1 mile, 70 yards around two turns; the Southwest is 40 yards longer (1 1/16 miles), thus Maycocks Bay is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a full field of 12.

Meet the Southwest Stakes Field: Noteworthy Entries and Baffert’s Legacy

A son of Speightstown, the chestnut colt is trained by Michael Stidham and breaks from post 1 under Francisco Arrieta.

Medina Spirit and Bob Baffert- Photo Courtesy Of Churchill Downs

While most of the entries seem to have little chance at winning – Charleston, Magic Grant, Linebacker, Mystik Dan, Common Defense among them – one can never count out Bob Baffert.

The Hall of Fame trainer sends out New York-bred Wynstock, the 4-1 second choice who could give Baffert a record-extending sixth win in the Southwest; he won the last two with Newgrange in 2022 and Arabian Knight in 2023.

Baffert’s Rising Star: Wynstock’s Dominance at 1 1/16-mile Distance

Wynstock won the 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity at 13-1 odds, defeating stablemates Wine Me Up and Coach Prime, on Dec. 16 in his last start and is now 2-for-2 at the distance. He was beaten his first two starts, both at 6 ½ furlongs, but appears he prefers a distance.

“Stretched him out and he was a different horse,” Baffert said. “We’re just taking it step by step. It’s going to be a good test for him. He’s going to ship. See how he handles that. He’s got to break well. I know there’s always speed in the race.”

The Southwest is a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep offering qualifying points of 20-10-6-4-2 to the top five Derby-eligible finishers.

Handicapping the Southwest: Top Picks and Post-Time Preview

Wynstock is ineligible to run in the Derby after a Monday (Jan. 2) deadline passed without the colt being transferred to a non-suspended trainer. Baffert remains suspended by Churchill Downs through 2024 following the DQ of the trainer’s Medina Spirit from his 2021 Derby win for a medication violation.

Awesome Road, trained by Brad Cox, is 8-1 leaving from the outside 12 post with Florent Geroux riding. Awesome Road finished fifth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25.

Post time for the Southwest is 5:50 p.m. ET.

The picks: 1 Wynstock 2 Just Steel 3 Maycocks Bay

The field for the $800,000 Southwest (G3), from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, odds:

1 Maycocks Bay (Francisco Arrieta, Michael Stidham), 3-1

2 Charleston (Harry Hernandez, Jinks Fires), 30-1

3 Magic Grant (Chris Landeros, Eddie Milligan, Jr.), 30-1

4 Otto the Conqueror (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen), 5-1

5 Wynstock (Kyle Frey, Bob Baffert), 4-1

6 Liberal Arts (Cristian Torres, Robert Medina), 8-1

7 Carbone (Ricardo Santana, Jr., Steve Asmussen), 9-2

8 Common Defense (Julien Leparoux, Ken McPeek), 15-1

9 Linebacker (Emmanuel Esquivel, Jordan Blair), 30-1

10 Mystik Dan (Brian Hernandez, Jr., Ken McPeek), 12-1

11 Just Steel (Ramon Vazquez, D. Wayne Lukas), 8-1

12 Awesome Road (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox), 8-1

 

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