The last of this year’s GI “Derby Trail” Prep’s is coming up this Saturday at Oaklawn Park in the Arkansas Derby going 1 1/8 mile! We’ve highlighted the field for you below!
Some thoughts from DRF on this GI!
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Purse: $1 million; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 1
1. Nehro, Corey Nakatani, 5-1
2. Elite Alex, Calvin Borel, 8-1
3. The Factor, Martin Garcia, 7-5
4. Brethren, Ramon Dominguez, 10-1
5. Sway Away, Patrick Valenzuela, 6-1
6. Caleb’s Posse, Eddie Razo, 10-1
7. Truman’s Commander, Israel Ocampo, 30-1
8. Alternation, Luis Quinonez, 10-1
9. Dance City, Javier Castellano, 15-1
10. Archarcharch, Jon Court, 12-1
11. J P’s Gusto, Cliff Berry, 15-1
12. J W Blue, Joe Rocco Jr., 30-1
13. Saratoga Red, Terry Thompson, 30-1
The 7/5 favorite here is The Factor coming out of a surprisingly good performance in the GII Rebel Stakes here last month in a pulling away from the field victory. He should be in your exotics somewhere!
Six other Rebel Stakes finishers are here too in Caleb’s Posse at 10/1 who finished up a strong 2nd that day, Archarcharch at 12/1 finished 3rd, Saratoga Red at 30/1 here finished 4th, J W Blue also at 30/1 here finished 5th, the speedy Sway Away at 6/1 here finished 6th that day and J. P.’s Gusto whose 15/1 here finished way back in 7th that day!
Alternation and Elite Alex were scratches that day and are 10/1 and 8/1 respectively here!
Alternation and Caleb’s Posse may be a paired entry here on Saturday!
The new shooters here are Nehro at 5/1, is the 2nd place finisher in the Louisiana Derby a few Saturdays ago and 2nd choice here on Saturday!
Brethren at 10/1 is here still smarting from his Tampa Bay Derby debacle and in need of some redemption here on Saturday.
Dance City at 15/1 is coming off a big-time allowance win to be here, much like Alternation is!
Bring up the rear is Truman’s Commander at 30/1 is a recent mile maiden winner and should be no factor here on Saturday!
So if The Factor can go 1 1/8 here on Saturday he will be a top Derby favorite on May 7th, if not, than a big pace collapse is coming here, so look for Nehro, Caleb’s Posse, Archarcharch, Alternation, Dance City and whoever has improved over their last very dismal performances will come and get him in the last 1/16. This race is all about whether The Factor can do that front running act of his for 1 1/8 mile and our guess is he can’t!
It has been a very tough Derby Trail so far with long shots and maiden’s having their way in almost all of them. So box everything you do, spread the risk around to as many different runners as makes sense to you in dime supers and hope you can hit it right!
This one has that same upset feel to it, as someone with long odds has a very good chance of a surprise win here!
So Oaklawn Park makes its final contribution to the “Derby Trail” here Saturday with the Arkansas Derby and maybe 2, 3 or 4 of these starters can make it to Louisville on the first Saturday of May after their efforts in this contest.
So the GI portion of the “Derby Trail” will be in the books here on Saturday and we’ll give that descriptor a rest until the 2012″ Derby Trail” starts up in earnest early next year.
From here on out we are on the “Triple Crown Trail”!
First stop is Louisville, Churchill Downs and the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby in just 3 more Saturdays now!