(Silver Prospector wins the G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park / Coady Photography & Courtesy of Oaklawn Park)

(Silver Prospector at Churchill Downs last Fall / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Oaklawn Park Media Team:

Ed and Susie Orr’s Silver Prospector rebounded from a fourth in the opening day Smarty Jones Stakes to secure his position as a leading Kentucky Derby contender with a one-length victory in Monday’s $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) before a crowd of 19,500.

Silver Prospector broke near the back of the field, but was eager to run and moved into third through the first turn as Wells Bayou led through fractions of :22.89 and :46.60 for the first half mile. The winner moved closer to the front entering the home stretch and wore the down the pace setter to win by one-length in 1:43.01 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track.

Trainer Steve Asmussen — Silver Prospector (1st):

His position was by design. I thought he got a little too far behind in the Smarty Jones. He was in good position all the way. Absolutely, we’ll look at the Rebel (March 14) and Arkansas Derby (April 11). This series is quite lucrative and the points are very important.”

Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. — Silver Prospector:

The last two weeks the horse was training unbelievable! We didn’t get any rain so the track was just how he liked it. He pulled me in a great spot the first quarter, and i just became his passenger.”

Trainer Brad Cox — Wells Bayou (2nd) & Answer In (3rd):

“I was proud of both horses. They ran extremely well. Obviously, set some nice hot fractions, or some hot fractions, and was able continue with a nice run down the lane. I was very pleased with them both. We’ll regroup with them and see what’s next.”

Jockey Florent Geroux — Wells Bayou:

“I went a touch quicker than what I wanted to. My horses ran hard even when the other one came by me, he was trying really hard. It was a great race. It was his first time against stakes company and the winner was a Grade 2 winner.”

Jockey Javier Castellano — Answer In:

“I had a little bit of a wide trip on the first turn, but there was nothing I could do. When I broke out of the gate on the outside post on a 9-horse field it cost me a little bit of a play, I don’t think I could of have won the race. It might have cost me second place.”