Old Fashioned, an early favorite for the 2009 Triple Crown races, scored a 3-3/4 length victory in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Monday, February 16. It was his first race in 2009 and his fourth win from four starts.

Speedy pace setter and eventual runner-up Silver City was collared on the final turn by Old Fashioned, with a winning time of 1:37.41 for the one mile dirt race.

“This horse is truly blessed,” said trainer Larry Jones. “We weren’t looking to go out in :45, but he showed he was a lot more fit than we thought. He is a gift and we will play it day by day.”

Owned by Fox Hill Farms and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, the grey son of Unbridled’s Song claimed attention last November with a 7-1/4 length victory in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct.

Jones, trainer of the brilliant filly Eight Belles, who broke down after finishing second to Big Brown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, said that Old Fashioned will be kept at Oaklawn and pointed for the $300,000 Rebel Stakes there on Saturday, March 14.

Triple Crown race winners Smarty Jones (2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness); Afleet Alex (2005 Preakness and Belmont); and 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin, all counted Oaklawn stakes races as preparation for the Kentucky Derby. Curlin’s only starts prior to the Derby were as winner of both the Rebel Stakes and the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn.

This year’s Arkansas Derby will be run on April 11; the 2009 Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 2.