Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Important High quality, who is anticipated to be named 2020 champion 2-year-old male at Thursday’s Eclipse Awards ceremony, is focusing on the Feb. 15 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park for his 3-year-old debut.
Brad Cox — who himself is prone to take dwelling an Eclipse Award as excellent coach of 2020 — had been considering both the 1 1/16-miles Southwest or the 1 1/8-miles Risen Star (G3) at Honest Grounds two days earlier for Important High quality. Whereas he’s stabled at Honest Grounds, Cox advised Day by day Racing Kind on Tuesday that the shorter distance of the Southwest made delivery the popular possibility.
“The correct factor for him off the layoff can be the mile and a sixteenth,” Cox advised DRF’s Marcus Hersch.
A Godolphin homebred by Tapit, Important High quality was an ideal 3-for-3 final season. He received on debut at Churchill Downs in September and got here again a month later to take the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland previous to the Breeders’ Cup.
Others identified to be into account for the Southwest — which awards 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying factors to the winner — embody a number of Grade 1 winner Jackie’s Warrior, additionally an Eclipse finalist for champion 2-year-old male of 2020; and Keepmeinmind, who after working third within the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile got here again to seize the Kentucky Jockey Membership (G2) on Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.