Meet the Contenders: 2024 Southwest Stakes

January 30th, 2024

Meet the horses running in the 2024 Southwest S. Saturday at Oaklawn Park. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 5 represents opportunity to perform well. Be sure to follow these contenders by adding them to your stable alerts.


Maycocks Bay wins at Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography)

#1 Maycocks Bay               ***

Pro: Made vast improvement in a Fair Grounds allowance, albeit with Lasix added.

Con: Threat to bounce off a career-best performance.

Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography

#2 Charleston                    *

Pro: Might respond to the removal of blinkers after poor try last out.

Con: Has little to recommend after losing a pair of maiden claimers.

Courtesy of Oaklawn Park Racing

#3 Magic Grant                  **

Pro: Graduated in Remington stakes and mud might have hampered rally in Springboard Mile

Con: Speed figures suggest he must improve a significant amount.

Otto the Conqueror (Photo by Coady Photography)

#4 Otto the Conqueror      ****

Pro: Springboard Mile score not flashy but beat Honor Marie easily two back.

Con: Whether he’ll be as effective going longer remains to be seen.

Wynstock winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at Los Alamitos (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Wynstock winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at Los Alamitos (Photo by Benoit Photo)

#5 Wynstock                     ***

Pro: Upset several stablemates with gutsy re-rally in Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).

Con: Not the flashiest looking contender barn has sent to Oaklawn.

Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts. (Photo by Coady Photography)

#6 Liberal Arts                   ****

Pro: Solid form and skipped over mud to land Street Sense (G3) when last seen. 

Con: Concedes recency to all his Southwest rivals.

Carbone winning his debut at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Carbone winning his debut at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

#7 Carbone                       ****

Pro: Son of Mitole has aced both previous starts by a combined 12 lengths.

Con: Additional pace pressure might impact his chances.

Oaklawn Park Opening Day (Coady Photography)

#8 Common Defense         **

Pro: Won comfortably against maiden foes going a mile; has upside.

Con: Must get faster, and perhaps might be better suited to an allowance.

Oaklawn Park (Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

#9 Linebacker                    *

Pro: Has placed in all three starts, and blinkers might help here.

Con: Still a maiden and obviously a tough spot in which to try and graduate.

Mystik Dan wins at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

#10 Mystik Dan                   **

Pro: Return to maiden-breaking form gives him a chance at a price.

Con: Has lost ground late in both attempts at a mile or longer.

Just Steel (Photo by Adam Coglianese/Credit to Susie Raisher)

#11 Just Steel                      ***

Pro: Well experienced and second in Smarty Jones was decent given wide trip.

Con: Best tries to date have been around one turn.

Awesome Road wins at Ellis Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

#12 Awesome Road             **

Pro: Maiden was good, though well beaten in two subsequent graded attempts.

Con: Might end up running at Turfway as a he’s cross-entered to a stakes there.