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Yankee Passion prepares for Southwest

There were at least nine probables for Monday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest at Oaklawn Park as of Wednesday morning, with Yankee Passion confirming his place in the lineup after a bullet five-furlong workout. Entries for the one-mile race for 3-year-olds will be taken on Saturday.

“We possibly could have up to 11,” said Pat Pope, the racing secretary at Oaklawn.

J P’s Gusto, the winner of last year’s Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and the lone Oaklawn-based 3-year-old listed in the first pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, leads the prospective field. Ramon Dominguez has the mount on the horse, who will be making his first start since finishing second in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18.

Yankee Passion worked in company with fellow Southwest nominee Commander on Wednesday, right after the renovation break. He worked along the rail under regular rider Gabriel Saez, sitting just off Commander and jockey Terry Thompson. Yankee Passion finished with good energy through the stretch, hitting the wire about a half-length in front of his company, in 1:01. Clockers caught him galloping out six furlongs in 1:16. Commander, who worked without the blinkers he has worn in his last two starts, went in 1:01.20, which was the second fastest move of 44 at the distance on Wednesday.

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