A very talented field of “9” 3yo’s is set for this year’s $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby, for 3yo’s, going 1 1/8 mile out on Oaklawn Park main track and will go as the last of this year’s 100 Derby Points races with a sure-fire Derby 140 gate is waiting for the winner of this final Derby Trail, 3yo test here at Oaklawn Park this season!
Tapiture, at 9/5, will probably be the post time favorite, coming off a tough trip in the GII Rebel Stakes to get the runner-up spot over a soggy surface last out. He did win the the GIII Southwest Stakes here by 4 1/4 lengths over Ride On Curlin and Strong Mandate 2 back. He can go early or sit just off an early pace.
Bayern, at 2/1, has but 2 lifetime starts with his last out being a 15 lengths wow performance in a S/A Alw at a mile run in 1:35.3. Lots and lots of buzz here but will need a 1st or a 2nd to move on to Louisville from here. He’s Bob Baffert trained and will get a Gary Stevens ride! He pretty much is an early front ride but with just 2 races under his belt its hard to say where he’ll be early on in this one!
Strong Mandate, at 9/2, was the earlier pace setter in that same sloppy GII Rebel Stakes here last out fading to 4th 2 1/4 lengths off the winner. He was a good 2nd in the GIII Southwest Stakes and an equally good 3rd in the B/C Juvenile last fall and is one of the rare ones still in training from that 2yo championship tilt! Like Tapiture , he can sit early or go early!
Commissioner, at 8/1, was another early season Derby buzz horse who last 2 outs include a 6th in the GII Fountain of Youth Stakes and a 3rd in the GIII Sunland Derby but in both outings he was well off the winner! Needs points to move on but only a 1st or a 2nd will do here for him here! He comes late if he comes at all!
Conquest Titan, at 10/1, 2nd in the the GII Holy Bull Stakes by a good 5 lengths then 4th in the GII Tampa Bay Derby last out by almost 5 lengths again! He should do better at this 1 1/8 mile distance being a son of Birdstone out of a Mineshaft mare. He comes late so no early pacesetter here.
Ride On Curlin, at 12/1, had the stretch lead for a brief while in that same sloppy GII Rebel Stakes here last out but faded to 3rd but only a length off that winner! He was 3rd in the GIII Southwest Stakes here too earlier this season. He likes to near the early pace too for the most part.
So, it’s on to Louisville after this one is over as the $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby all but closes the book on the bulk of the 2014 Derby Trail season.
Post Time for Race #11 – 6:07 pm CDT
|1.||Danza||J Bravo||118||T A Pletcher||15/1|
|3.||Tapiture||J Rosario||122||S M Asmussen||9/5|
|4.||Ride On Curlin||J K Court||118||W G Gowan||12/1|
|5.||Thundergram||N Arroyo, Jr.||118||M E Casse||30/1|
|6.||Commissioner||M E Smith||118||T A Pletcher||8/1|
|7.||Conquest Titan||C H Borel||122||M E Casse||10/1|
|8.||Bayern||G L Stevens||118||B Baffert||2/1|
|9.||Strong Mandate||L Saez||122||D W Lukas||9/2|
Picks are – 3,4,7,8 exacta box with the 6 or 9 at the back of a super play