This year’s GI Arkansas Derby “Probables” are –
American Pharoah – by Pioneer of the Nile and out of a Yankee Gentleman mare, was a last out winner, by 6+ lengths, in the GII Rebel Stakes here at Oaklawn Park!
This 2014, 2yo Male HOY, trained by Bob Baffert, will no doubt be the GI Arkansas Derby M/L fav and probable at less than even money, too! He is sure to strike for the early lead that look to pull away down the lane!
He doesn’t need the win here with 64 Derby Points already, but a win would put him right near the top of the 2015 derby points heap and a big multi-length, pulling away, sub 1:49 winning time effort would make him a possible 2015 co-Kentucky Derby favorite with Bob Baffert’s other top derby runner in Dortmand!
Madefromlucky, by Lookin at Lucky out of a Pulpit mare, was back those 6 1/4 lengths to American Pharoah, last time out in that same GII Rebel Stakes where he was simply no match for the Pharaoh that day.
He has the pedigree to go this 1 1/8 mile distance here on Saturday but he’ll have to find more in the stretch this to be competitive here on Saturday!
Stalks the early pace as a rule and with just 20 Derby points on his resume, he does need more derby points so a top finish here is a most!
Bold Conquest, by Curlin out of a Distorted Humor mare, was 3rd and back 8 3/4 lengths at the end of that same GII Rebel last time! He is multi-graded stakes (placed) and has run against the best in his division in his last 4 graded starts!
He sits well off the early pace as a norm, then comes on late for a piece of the board, but with just 17 derby points to his credit he’ll need a win, place, or show effort here on Saturday to be part of the big show at Churchill on the first Saturday of May this year!
Far Right, by Notional and out of a Vindication mare, and The Truth Or Else, by Yes it’s True and a Colonial Affair mare, were the 1-2 finishers in the GIII Southwest Stakes prep here at Oaklawn back in mid Feb, as a sloppy track that day held a heavy hand over this race’s outcome and speed figures!
Both horses are not early speed types but seem to prefer a late run for at least a board hit as a general rule!
The Truth Or Else. did run a distance for 4th in that same GII Rebel Stakes last time out, while Far Right, has been cooling his heels ever since his Feb 15th, GIII Southwest victory waiting on this GI race to finish up his 2015 Derby prep season!
This pair, both need a top finishes here on Saturday to find a berth in Derby 141 as both now find themselves sitting on this year’s Derby bubble!