September 28, 2023

West Will Power early favorite in Razorback

West Will Power wins the Fayette Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

A trio of Grade 2 winners with Grade 1 credentials are among field of 10 entered in the $600,000 Razorback H. (G3), the 1 1/16-mile highlight of Saturday’s card at Oaklawn Park.

West Will Power, the 2-1 morning line favorite, makes his season debut in the Razorback for trainer Brad Cox, who has conditioned the five-year-old to three wins in four starts since joining the stable. The highlight performance was a 6 3/4-length romp in the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland in late October.

In his latest start, West Will Power was worn down in the final yards of the nine-furlong Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs, losing to Proxy by three parts of a length.

“He’s doing really, really well. The last few works have been phenomenal at the Fair Grounds,” Cox said.

Law Professor has won two of four starts since joining the Rob Atras stable last season. A longshot second to Life Is Good in the Woodward (G1) at Aqueduct in October, Law Professor was less effective when finishing in midpack in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). However, the six-year-old looked good taking the Jan. 7 Queens County S. at Aqueduct by 7 1/2 lengths in his latest outing.

Ginobili, who won the Pat O’Brien (G2) and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile during the 2021 season, returned from a near year-long layoff in November, finishing second in a six-furlong allowance at Del Mar. He shipped to Oaklawn last month and won the Fifth Season S. by a commanding four lengths.

“It’s a tougher race,” trainer Peter Miller said. “He’s got a lot of speed, but he doesn’t need the lead. If someone goes crazy, we’ll sit. If we get an easy lead, we’ll take it. Training really, really well, like he did for the last one.”

The grizzled 10-year-old veteran Rated R Superstar, a three-time stakes winner over the Oaklawn strip, will attempt to improve on his recent third in the Jan. 14 Fifth Season, while Last Samurai seeks his first victory since an upset score in the Oaklawn H. (G2) last April. The D. Wayne Lukas charge was third in the Tinsel S. at Oaklawn two back and fourth in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) last out.