HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Conveyance remained undefeated while conquering conventional dirt in his first attempt Saturday, leading throughout to win the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest by three-quarters of a length over Dublin. It was another length and a half back to Cardiff Giant in third.
The one-mile race for 3-year-olds had been pushed back five days after inclement weather forced its cancellation on Feb. 15. The Southwest was the first of two graded preps for the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby.
Conveyance ($5.60) moved to the lead soon after the start of the race and was up by a length into the first turn. He set fractions of 22.78 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.25 for the half-mile, with Dryfly and Cool Bullet in close pursuit. Convenyance opened up the race some midway on the final turn, proceeded to run six furlongs in 1:10.67 then held off a late bid from Dublin. Conveyance covered the distance on a track rated fast in 1:36.94.
Martin Garcia rode Conveyance for trainer Bob Baffert and said directions were to try to get a good break, move to the lead, and establish position. In the lane, Dublin made a strong run at the leader, who held his ground to improve his record to 4 for 4.
"The fractions the first half-mile were pretty fast," Garcia said. "He got a little tired [late]. [But] he just kept going. He never stopped. A mile and a sixteenth, I don't think they'd catch us."
Conveyance came into the Southwest off a clear win in the Grade 3 San Rafael at his Santa Anita base Jan. 16. Before that, he won a first-level allowance at Hollywood Park in November, and a maiden special weight during Oak Tree at Santa Anita in October.
Conveyance is a son of Indian Charlie. He is owned by Zabeel Racing International.
* On the undercard, One Smokin' Lady ($4.60) tracked Palanka City then overtook her for a 4 1/4-ength win in the $60,000 Spring Fever. She covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.62. Corey Nakatani was aboard for Cash Is King and trainer Tim Ritchey.
* Attendance ontrack was 20,171.