Edited Press Release
Uncontested and Petrov, the respective one-two finishers of the January 16 Smarty Jones Stakes, worked over Oaklawn Park’s fast track Sunday morning in preparation for their scheduled starts in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) on February 20.
Uncontested breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.60 after the renovation break under regular rider Channing Hill. The Tiz Wonderful colt, a record-setting 5 1/4-length wire-to-wire winner of the Smarty Jones, covered his final quarter-mile in :23.80 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40.
Hill, the son-in-law of the colt’s trainer, Wayne Catalano, said Uncontested went “super smooth.”
“Just kind of what Wayne wanted was a real nice maintenance move,” Hill explained. “Nothing too crazy, and that’s what he did. Just super calm and does everything you ask him to do. Went out there and had a little fun – stretch his legs out.”
Catalano was also pleased with the work, Uncontested’s second since the Smarty Jones.
“He did everything right,” Catalano said.
Catalano said Uncontested will have one more easy work before the Southwest.
Smarty Jones runner-up Petrov breezed in company with a stablemate minutes after the track opened, recording a half-mile in :48.20. Clockers caught his final quarter-mile in :22.60 and he galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.40 under Greta Kuntzweiler.
“I thought it was a very smooth, nice work,” said Ron Moquett, who trains and co-owns Petrov. “Really loved his gallop out, and it moves us closer to the Southwest.”
The Smarty Jones marked the two-turn debut for Petrov. Moquett said he plans to breeze the gray son of Flatter once more in advance of the 1 1/16-mile Southwest, Oaklawn’s second of four Kentucky Derby preps. The track’s Kentucky Derby prep series continues with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) on March 18 and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 15.
Based on the way Petrov is coming up to the Southwest, Moquett said it will be an easy move.
“Actually the way he’s doing everything, probably kind of more of the same,” Moquett remarked. “This gallop out was really impressive for me. The way that he does it is so easy, I don’t need to set land-speed records in the morning to know where he’s at. He’s doing great.”
Moquett said New York-based Jose Ortiz, will ride Petrov in the Southwest. The jockey rode the first four days of the Oaklawn meeting, winning four races for Moquett and running second on Petrov in the Smarty Jones.
Also working for a possible start in the Southwest on Sunday was Rowdy the Warrior
The Warrior’s Reward colt worked five furlongs under Luis Quinonez in 1:01 before the renovation break Sunday morning for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. Clockers caught Rowdy the Warrior galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.40.
“I thought he went well,” Von Hemel said.
Rowdy the Warrior finished third in the Smarty Jones while making his three-year-old debut. Von Hemel said the Oklahoma-bred dark bay remains under consideration for the Southwest as well as an entry-level allowance race.
Grade 2-placed stakes winner Warrior’s Club, fourth in the Smarty Jones, is scheduled to make his next start in the Southwest, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.