Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate) had her final major work Friday ahead of an upcoming start in the Apr. 2 GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. Sent out Friday morning by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas just after the track opened, the chestnut worked by herself from the five-furlong pole to the regular finish line, covering the distance in 1:01 under her regular pilot, Luis Contreras. According to the Oaklawn clockers, the homebred posted internal splits of :12.20 for an opening eighth and :37.60 for three furlongs before galloping out six panels in 1:15.
“It went exactly as a planned,” said Lukas. “We said, 'go 1:01, just let her catch her stride and take a couple of deep breathes.' Actually, it was so easy on her that I wonder if I should have done a little more.”
Secret Oath was breezing for the second time since her impressive 7 1/2-length triumph in the GIII Honeybee S. Feb. 26. Secret Oath previously posted a five-furlong bullet work (:59.40) Mar. 17.
Added Contreras, “She breezed really good–five-eighths in 1:01. That's what the Coach wanted.”
Lukas won the 1984 Arkansas Derby with Althea, a week after she finished second in the Fantasy S. Lukas also finished third in the 1986 Arkansas Derby with another filly, Family Style, a week after she was fourth in the Fantasy. Althea and Family Style were both Eclipse Award winners at two.
Secret Oath was among nine probables listed Friday morning by the Oaklawn racing department. Other horses pointing for the Arkansas Derby are Barber Road, Ben Diesel, Call Me Jamal, Chasing Time, Cyberknife, Doppelganger, Un Ojo and We the People.
Post positions for the Arkansas Derby will be drawn Sunday afternoon. The event will be open to the public, with a time and place to be announced by Oaklawn. The Arkansas Derby will offer 170 points–100-40-20-10, respectively– to the top four finishers for the May 7 Kentucky Derby.