Mo­quett has an­other good one

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Mary Ram­pellini Fol­low Mary Ram­pellini on Twit­ter @DRFRam­pellini

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Trainer Ron Mo­quett has come up with a qual­ity 3-year-old each of the last two meets at Oak­lawn, and it ap­pears he has an­other such run­ner in Petrov. Petrov goes Mon­day in the Grade 3, $500,000 South­west Stakes, a race Mo­quett won in 2015 with Far Right and fin­ished se­cond in last year with Whit­more.

Petrov is a son of Flat­ter who has made three starts, win­ning his de­but at Churchill Downs, then run­ning se­cond in both the King’s Swan at Aqueduct and the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oak­lawn in his most re­cent start Jan. 16.

Since then, Petrov has thrived. In his fi­nal prep for the South­west, he worked five-eighths in com­pany here Mon­day, go­ing in 1:00. He came home his fi­nal quar­ter in 22.80 sec­onds, ac­cord­ing to Oak­lawn clock­ers.

“I know that he’s go­ing to face a tough race and I wanted to make sure he had plenty to draw on, when­ever he needed it,” Mo­quett said. “It was a beau­ti­ful work. It was re­ally the kind of work that would lead you to be­lieve there’s some­thing big com­ing up.”

Mo­quett said that aside from the drill there are a cou­ple of other rea­sons he looks for Petrov to move for­ward in the 1 1/16-mile South­west. The horse went a mile last time, stalk­ing the pace in se­cond through­out as Un­con­tested went wire to wire in a race that ended at the six­teenth pole at Oak­lawn.

“This is our se­cond at­tempt around two turns, and I think the dis­tance here is bet­ter for him than the short stretch of the mile is,” Mo­quett said. “I think the short stretch of the mile al­ways favors some­one who’s on the lead. I’m not say­ing bet­ter horses can’t over­come it. If you’re run­ning against some de­cent, classy, nice horses, you bet­ter jump on the them early, be­cause you’re mak­ing your move on the turn.”

Petrov was a pri­vate pur­chase, Mo­quett said, not­ing that he was ini­tially in­ter­ested in the horse be­cause he trained his half­sis­ter Mazi­ette. Petrov is owned by Rialto Rac­ing Sta­bles and South­ern Springs Sta­bles. The groups’ fe­male part­ners named him af­ter the bal­let dancer Eu­gene Petrov be­cause of the horse’s grace­ful­ness on the track, Mo­quett said.

Mo­quett said he was at first leery of nam­ing the horse for a bal­let dancer, but then he re­al­ized sev­eral top-class horses – in­clud­ing Ni­jin­sky and Nureyev – were named for bal­let dancers.

“I said you know what, maybe that’s a good idea,” Mo­quett said.

Mo­quett said Jose Or­tiz again has the mount on Petrov in the South­west.

Other po­ten­tial starters are Chief Know It All, Dilet­tante, Hence, Lookin At Lee, Rowdy the Warrior, Sil­ver Dust, Un­con­tested, and Warrior’s Club.

Cool Ar­row, who in his last start won the $300,000 Spring­board Mile, is pos­si­ble, trainer Joe Sharp said Wed­nes­day. An­other op­tion for the horse is the Risen Star at Fair Grounds.

P C Cow­boy, a maiden spe­cial weight win­ner at two turns, was sold pri­vately Tues­day and is in­tended for the South­west. Oak­lawn lead­ing owner Danny Cald­well said he sold the horse to friend Tommy Ju­lian. P C Cowby is now be­ing trained by Johnny Or­tiz.

“Tommy has been look­ing for stakes horses,” Cald­well said.

Lukas has promis­ing pair

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has a pair of 3-year-olds tar­get­ing the South­west in Warrior’s Club and Dilet­tante. Warrior’s Club won the Spend­thrift Farm Stal­lion Stakes in Oc­to­ber at Churchill Downs, while Dilet­tante popped a Beyer Speed Fig­ure of 88 for a re­cent maiden spe­cial weight route win at Oak­lawn.

Warrior’s Club en­ters the South­west off a fourth-place fin­ish in the $150,000 Smarty Jones on Jan. 16 at Oak­lawn. He was rac­ing on a wet track for the first time.

“I thought that he strug­gled a lit­tle bit with the race­track,” Lukas said. “That sur­prised me be­cause in the morn­ing, he’s so glib and he gets over the ground so well. He re­ally knows where ev­ery foot is. But, for what­ever rea­son that day, I thought he was nod­ding and not get­ting a hold of the track. So, we’ll give him an­other chance.”

Lukas said he has a good deal of re­spect for Smarty Jones win­ner Un­con­tested, not­ing that Warrior’s Club fin­ished in front of that horse on a dry track when they were third and fourth in the Grade 2 Ken­tucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Chris Lan­deros has the mount on Warrior’s Club, Lukas said.

Dilet­tante is a son of Un­bri­dled’s Song and his dam, Royal An­ces­try, is a half-sis­ter to Grade 1 win­ner Awe­some Hu­mor.

“I think he’s a re­ally tal­ented horse,” Lukas said. “I love the way his last race came. He’s had some trips that were ques­tion­able, where he was blocked and every­thing, but he fi­nally had a smooth trip and he showed up. I’m very op­ti­mistic for him. That horse is get­ting good. He’s a fac­tor.”

Lukas said Florent Ger­oux has the mount on Dilet­tante for owner Calumet Farm.

Blue Tone ar­rives for Ra­zor­back

Blue Tone, win­ner of the Grade 3 San Gabriel last month at Santa Anita, ar­rived Tues­day at Oak­lawn for an in­tended start in the Grade 3, $500,000 Ra­zor­back Hand­i­cap on Mon­day, trainer Bob Hess Jr. said. Hess said Jose Or­tiz will ride Blue Tone.

The Ra­zor­back also is ex­pected to draw Gun Run­ner, win­ner of the Grade 1 Clark Hand­i­cap, Shot­gun Kow­boy, Goats Town, Hawaakom, and Mishe­gas. Pos­si­ble starters in­clude Daz­zling Gem, Smack Smack, and Take­tothestreets.

Do­main’s Rap, who who won the Fifth Sea­son open­ing day at Oak­lawn, is be­ing con­sid­ered for the race, owner Danny Cald­well said. The other op­tion is to await the Es­sex Hand­i­cap.

COADY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Petrov works five fur­longs in 1:00 Mon­day for the South­west.

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