Old Fashioned, Oliver Cleo and Brian Sears …

What a weekend for these guys! Old Fashioned closed as the favorite in the first Kentucky Derby Future pool and justified that on Monday by winning the G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in what I felt was impressive and professional fashion.  Brian Sears put on a driving display at M1 over the weekend, winning 11 races, including 7 on Monday. Oliver Cleo continued his impressive display of talent.

Sears is the first driver to win 7 races on a 10 race card since John Campbell did it in 1983. He fell one win shy of Mike Lachance’s record of 8 wins on a single Meadowlands card. His victories weren’t all with favorites either, he paid some of his steers paid double digit prices.

Old Fashioned won like I like seeing top Derby prospects win this time of the year. He rated comfortably off a quick pace and when asked he put his foes away professionally. I can’t help but noticed the similarities between Smarty Jones’ Southwest effort and Old Fashioned’s. Rated professionally off a quick pace ( SJ – 22.4 – 45.4 – 111.1 – 137.2 — OF – 22.2 – 45.4 – 111.0 – 137.2 ) and professionally drew clear. Old Fashion’s Beyer fig isn’t overly exciting, but Smarty’s wasn’t either. The fact that they are/were quick out of the gate, have a high cruising speed, and are rateable are more important right now.

Oliver Cleo, for those who don’t know who he is, is a 4 year old pacer who could be anything. Monday, in his 7th lifetime start, he mowed the Art Unger stakes field down like he was supposed to. He also set a new lifetime mark in 150.3 . On Jan. 9th, he paced a last half in 53.3 to win a division of the Clyde Hirt. The sky is the limit for this guy. He has won on the engine and he has also won from off the pace. I’m not sure what he is staked to, but it will be interesting to see how good he is.

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