Horak: How I'm betting the 2020 Southwest Stakes

Horak: How I'm betting the 2020 Southwest Stakes
Photo: Coady Photography

Monday's Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park marks the second 2020 Kentucky Derby points race at Oaklawn Park, where Answer In will make his 3-year-old debut against most of the top finishers from last month's Smarty Jones Stakes.

Before deciding how to bet Monday’s ninth race at Oaklawn, set for 5:43 p.m. ET, let’s meet the field. And in drawing your own conclusions, see free past performances.

RELATED: Razorback Handicap analysis | Bayakoa Stakes picks

The Favorite

#9 Answer In (3-1) was pretty good in all three starts last year. His extended sprint maiden win at Churchill was sharp, and he followed that up with a near miss in the Remington Springboard Mile. He is almost certainly ready to roll off the bench for Brad Cox. 

Value Win Contenders

#2 Silver Prospector (9-2) was along for fourth in his Smarty Jones return in the mud Jan. 24. He had better early position in almost all of his other starts and will probably try to get into a tactical spot in this event. 

#6 Chase Tracker (7-2) added blinkers and earned an improved number in a clear show finish in the Remsen (G2). He might be this good for Todd Pletcher. 

Live Longshots

#8 Taishan (5-1) is probably going to track the pace under Mario Gutierrez. He did just that in his maiden win at one mile on dirt at Santa Anita last fall. He broke a step slow in the Sham (G3) Jan. 4, and that cost him valuable tactical position.  

Remaining Entrants

#1 Wells Bayou (8-1) figures to carve out the fractions from the inside post. He caught wet tracks in all three of his starts and went all the way in two of those races. He's a stablemate to Answer In.

#3 Shoplifted (8-1) got there in the Springboard Mile and was an even third in the Smarty Jones. He fits with these on his best day. 

#4 Gold Street (6-1) won his last three wet track starts, including the Smarty Jones. He got loose last time but probably won’t control the pace due to the presence of the rail horse.  

#5 American Butterfly (15-1) showed closing ability in a head defeat in a local sprint Feb. 2. He was up on the pace in his juvenile starts, and it was nice to see some improvement last time. He might be best around one turn.  

#7 Villainous (15-1) showed marked improvement second time out in a local flat mile maiden victory in the mud Jan. 24. He will have to improve again to threaten this group.  

Wagering Strategies

#9 to win

Exacta 9/2-6-8

Exacta 2-6-8/9

Trifecta key 9/2-3-6-8

Playing the horses can be a rewarding but tough game. Exacta, trifectas, superfectas, Pick 4s, Pick 5s -- there are so many wagers to play, it can get overly confusing. How do you know how much to play or which wagers to try? Top 10 Horseplayer Mistakes Free EbookUnfortunately, part of the learning process can include losing money. But we would like to help you shortcut that process by learning some of the most common mistakes that horseplayers make on a daily basis. Take a look at Horse Racing Nation’s newest eBook -- “Top 10 Mistakes Horseplayers Make” -- and see if it helps you avoid some common mistakes and win more playing the races!

Top Stories

Like dogwoods in bloom, Secretariat arrived on the...
While racing jurisdictions worldwide have shifted...
With his win in the Florida Derby (G1), Tiz the La...
The situation at Santa Anita Park remains fluid. S...
With the future of the 2020 edition of the Santa A...