02/19/2010 12:00AM

Redraw helps Dublin, may hurt Conveyance


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The names have stayed the same - only the post positions have changed.

Such is the story of the Southwest. Shut out by Mother Nature on Monday, the Grade 3, $250,000 race for 3-year-olds returns Saturday at Oaklawn Park and has drawn its original cast of 10.

But there are some new posts and some new riders to calculate while sorting through the field for the first graded prep on Oaklawn's road to the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby.

The Southwest, a one-mile race that will begin and end at the sixteenth pole, is led by three members of Daily Racing Form's Derby Watch: Conveyance, the undefeated winner of the Grade 3 San Rafael at Santa Anita; Dublin, the winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga; and Dryfly, who took last month's $100,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn.

They are part of a field that was left in limbo Monday when weather conditions forced the cancellation of the last six races at Oaklawn. Having the race pushed back five days is more of a blip than a blister to many of those with horses in the field.

"Moving back a week is of little consequence," said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Dublin.

"We're all in the same boat," added Lynn Whiting, who trains Dryfly.

Conveyance, who drew post 2 for the original Southwest and had his regular rider, Garrett Gomez, will be breaking from gate 9 under Martin Garcia. He is one of three starters with new riders, as Gomez, John Velazquez, who had been on Mission Impazible, and Robby Albarado, who was on Kitty's Turn, all have stakes mounts at other tracks Saturday.

Conveyance's new post might be less than ideal, but he has the tools to overcome the disadvantage.

"He's a very fast horse," said Bob Baffert, who trains Conveyance. "I'm hoping the dirt might help him."

Conveyance will be making his first start on dirt after winning his three starts on synthetic surfaces in Southern California. His most recent came in the San Rafael, which he won over Southwest rivals Cardiff Giant and Domonation.

"His last race was going long first time," Baffert said. "He went around there a little green, but he handled it all right."

The second Southwest draw was kinder to Dublin. Stuck in post 10 on Monday, he will now break from post 3, under Terry Thompson. Dublin is making his first start at two turns, in his first race since Nov. 1.

"It's an excellent spot to start," Lukas said. "I would not want to sprint him. From here, all through the spring, I only want to go two turns."

Dublin, who last out was seventh as the favorite in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill, has since had minor throat surgery, said Lukas.

Trainer Todd Pletcher likes the Southwest distance for Mission Impazible, who will be making his two-turn debut after just missing in an allowance at Gulfstream in his first start since April.

"We were looking for a place to stretch him out," Pletcher said. "The Fountain of Youth is at a mile and an eighth, and that's not where we wanted to try him first time out at two turns."

Eibar Coa has the mount.