Lightly-raced Petrov will make his next start in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds Feb. 20 at Oaklawn, co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Thursday morning. The colt, in his two-turn debut, finished second, beaten 5 ¼ lengths by Uncontested, in the Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16.
The 1 1/16-mile Southwest is Oaklawn’s second of four Kentucky Derby prep races, a series that continues with the G2 Rebel Stakes March 18 and G1 Arkansas Derby April 15.
Immediately following the Smarty Jones – Petrov’s third lifetime start – Moquett called the gray son of Flatter “probable” for the Southwest. But Moquett, Oaklawn’s leading trainer this year, said he also wanted to look at other options across the country regarding Petrov’s next start.
“I think you should always do that before you say for sure what’s up, because the last thing I want to do is tell somebody I’m doing something and then find out there’s a four-horse field for equal money somewhere else,” Moquett said. “I want to run here in this series. I’ve got a bunch of reasons I want to do well here.”
Moquett said he’s “looking at this weekend” to breeze Petrov for the first time since the Smarty Jones.
After a sparkling debut victory Nov. 12 at Churchill Downs, Petrov finished second in the $ 100,000 King’s Swan Stakes Dec. 2 at Aqueduct in his only other start at 2.
Moquett, a 50-50 partner in Petrov with Rialto Racing Stables (Catherine Adams-Hutt), ran second in last year’s Southwest with Whitmore.
Uncontested is also pointing for the Southwest, trainer Wayne Catalano said. A wire-to-wire winner of the 1-mile Smarty Jones, he recorded the fastest time (1:36.32) and largest margin of victory in race history.
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