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Southwest Stakes has two divisions

Sat 18th, February 2012

Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - A total of 21 three-year-olds were entered for Monday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The large number of entries necessitated that the stakes be divided into two divisions each with a $250,000 purse.

The mile races will be followed by the $500,000 Rebel on March 17 and the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14. Smarty Jones in 2004 and Lawyer Ron in 2006 won the Southwest on their way to winning the Arkansas Derby.

"This is very gratifying," said Charles Cella, Oaklawn's President. "It's a wonderful thing to have so many good three-year-olds supporting our program. This was exactly our goal when we raised the Arkansas Derby to $1 million."

The first division has a field of 11 and is headed by Smarty Jones Stakes winner Junebugred. Trained by Steve Hobby, the chestnut colt will be ridden by Joe Bravo again, this time from post six.

Owned by Alex and Joann Lieblong, Junebugred has earnings of $95,400 with two wins in three starts.

"I could not be any happier with where we are at this point," Hobby noted. "He's about as ready as he can get and I think he's moved forward from his last race."

Here is the complete field for the first division which will be race 8: Red Jack, Jon Court; Unbridled's Note, Julien Leparoux; Jake Mo, Cliff Berry; Majestic Stride, Carlos Marquez Jr.; Longview Drive, Martin Garcia; Junebugred, Joe Bravo; No Spin, James Graham; Reckless Jerry, Shane Laviolette; Ring It Up, Lindey Wade; Laurie's Rocket, Calvin Borel and Castaway, Rafael Bejarano. Post-time will be 5:41 p.m. (et).

The second division, with 10 three-year-olds, will feature Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle. The colt, trained by Bob Baffert, will break from post nine with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle. Baffert will also send out Castaway in the first division. Both horses are owned by Karl Watson, Paul Weitmann and Mike Pegram.

Secret Circle was second to Out of Bounds in last month's Sham Stakes at Santa Anita as the 1-2 favorite. The colt has three wins in four career starts for $368,990.

Here is the complete field for race 9: Z Rockstar, Cliff Berry; Adirondack King, Stewart Elliott; Scatman, Luis Quinonez; Apprehender, Inosencio Diego; Chalybeate Springs, Carlos Marquez Jr.; Pee H Dee, Lindey Wade; Cyber Secret, Channing Hill; King Corral, Martin Escobar; Secret Circle, Rafael Bejarano and Big Wednesday, Ramon Vazquez. A 6:15 p.m. (et) post is scheduled.

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