Conveyance wins Oaklawn Park SW Stakes in Arkansas
A six-day delay of the $250,000 Southwest Stakes caused trainer Jim Barnes to look for a new jockey, and some new clothes, before the rescheduled race on Saturday.
None of those changes affected Conveyance one bit.
Conveyance surged out to an early lead and never looked back to win at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
``It was what it was,'' Barnes said with a shrug of the nearly weeklong delay. ``It was just something we had to deal with.''
Conveyance made it look just as easy as Barnes made it sound.
The winner of the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita, Conveyance was to have had Garrett Gomez aboard for the race on President's Day. Gomez had another commitment so Martin Garcia was aboard the Bob Baffert-trained horse and he won for just the second time in his career.
Conveyance paid $5.60, $4 and $3.40. Dublin, ridden by Terry Thompson, returned $5 and $4.20. The show price on Cardiff Giant, with Christian Santiago Reyes aboard, was $8.60.
The 45th running of the one-mile race was originally scheduled for Monday, but a frozen track cut that day's racing short.
Barnes, an assistant to Baffert, had originally planned to be in Arkansas for only a few days, but the weather changed his and his horse's plans.
With the race pushed back, Barnes stayed in Arkansas, but hadn't packed enough clothes to carry him through the trip.
His solution was a simple one.
``I just went shopping,'' he said. ``I went to Dillards.''
The delay didn't affect the 10-horse field for the Kentucky Derby prep race, but it did shuffle the order. Conveyance was originally scheduled to go from the second position, but on Saturday raced out of the ninth position. It didn't seem to bother Garcia or Conveyance.
Conditions at the track were fast and weather wasn't an issue Saturday with a mostly sunny sky and temperatures in the 50s at race time.
Dryfly, who had Calvin Borel aboard, was an early favorite and is owned by Oaklawn owner Charles Cella, but finished a disappointing ninth and stopped in the drive.
The Southwest was the 10th race on Saturday, and came after the $60,000 Spring Fever Stakes, a sprint for fillies and mares. It was won easily by One Smokin' Lady.
Oaklawn's series of Kentucky Derby prep races continues with the $300,000 Rebel Stakes on March 13 and the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 10. The track has rescheduled the $5 million Apple Blossom to April 9 so it can feature Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.