Arkansas Derby

Arkansas Derby Wrap: Super Stock 'Fantastic', Baffert Noncommittal On Derby for Concert Tour

Super Stock (Dialed In) emerged in "fantastic" shape from his victory in Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, Steve Asmussen, the colt's Hall of Fame trainer, said Sunday morning. The bay is scheduled to be flown early this week to Kentucky, Asmussen said, where the colt will join the trainer's string at Churchill Downs to begin preparing for the GI Kentucky Derby May 1. Bought for $70,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Super Stock gave Asmussen his fifth Arkansas Derby victory and is co-owned by Asmussen's 79-year-old father Keith. The...

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Dialed In's Super Stock Upsets the Arkansas Derby

The GI Arkansas Derby has been won over the last 20-plus years by some short-odds favorites, like future GI Kentucky Derby winners Smarty Jones (Elusive Quality, even-money in 2004) and American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile, 1-10 in 2015) and future Classic winners such as Curlin (Smart Strike, 4-5 in 2007) and Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet, 12-5 in 2005). But the nine-furlong prep has tossed up its fair share of less-predictable winners, including Sir Cherokee (55-1 in 2003), Line of David (Lion Heart, 17-1 in 2010), Archarcharch (Arch, 25-1 in 2011),...

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This Side Up: A Tour With Many Dates

Well, I guess in the week we lost Mrs. Chandler--that elegant bridge at the center of five generations (and counting) of Kentucky horse lore--nobody will need reminding to take the long view. Certainly not Shug McGaughey, who will perhaps be reminding the disappointed connections of Greatest Honour (Tapit) how things didn't turn out too badly for Coronado's Quest (Forty Niner) after he was likewise derailed from the Classic trail. Maybe Greatest Honour can now become Shug's fifth winner of the GI Travers S., a race with an even longer history...

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Baffert Looking for 'Concert' Encore in Arkansas Derby

After losing presumptive GI Kentucky Derby favorite Life Is Good (Into Mischief) to injury for several months, Bob Baffert may still have the Derby chalk in his barn if his undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Concert Tour (Street Sense) can follow up his dominant GII Rebel S. score with a similar performance against just five rivals in Saturday's $1-million GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. Unveiled as an even-money favorite going six furlongs Jan. 15 at Santa Anita, the Gary and Mary West homebred scored a good-looking wire-to-wire victory and repeated with...

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Concert Tour, Caddo River Head 3yo Worktab Saturday

Heading the likely cast of contenders in the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby, undefeated Concert Tour (Street Sense) worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under Juan Ochoa at Santa Anita Saturday morning. "He went great; he looked fantastic," said trainer Bob Baffert. "He couldn't have looked any better. He just cruised around there in a minute and change." Taking over as top dog in the Baffert barn following the injury of Life Is Good (Into Mischief), Concert Tour a perfect three-for-three this season, including wins in the GII San Vicente S....

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Keepmeinmind Likely for Arkansas Derby

Though he has an option for the $800,000 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Apr. 3, Keepmeinmind (Laoban) is more likely to remain at trainer Robertino Didoro's Oaklawn base and await the $1-million GI Arkansas Derby Apr. 10, the conditioner told the Oaklawn notes team Thursday. "It could change, but right now I'm pointing towards the Arkansas Derby," Diodoro said. "Just being here, not having to ship." Second in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity last October and third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile as a maiden, Keepmeinmind rallied from last...

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Essential Quality to Blue Grass, Arkansas Derby Next for Caddo River

Defending juvenile champion Essential Quality (Tapit) is expected to make his next start in the Apr. 3 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland, according to trainer Brad Cox Tuesday. The Godolphin homebred, who is slated to post his final major work this Saturday, most recently won the GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Feb. 27. "The Blue Grass is what we have zeroed in on," confirmed Cox. "He's done extremely well [since the Southwest]. We breezed him last Saturday [Mar. 13], and we clocked him at a half in :48.20,...

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Prevalence on Target for Derby Prep

Godolphin's Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro), who followed a 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Jan. 23 with a one-mile allowance tally in Hallandale last Thursday, could make his next start in a GI Kentucky Derby prep, with the Apr. 3 GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland the same day, and the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park all in play. "His maiden win told us something, his allowance win told us even more and his next race will decide where...

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Oaklawn Raises Purses 15%, Top Allowances Now Worth $110K

Over the final eight weeks of its 2021 season, Oaklawn will boost purses by 15%, a total of $2.5 million, into overnight races, including increasing top allowance races to $110,000. The across the board increase also takes maiden special weights to $93,000 and raises the bottom purse to $27,000, and represents the largest in-season purse hike in the track's history. "It's been an interesting year to say the least, but it is very gratifying to announce this purse increase nearly a year after shutting the race meet and casino down...

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Caddo River Works Towards Rebel

'TDN Rising Star' Caddo River (Hard Spun), currently sitting at number two on the TDN Top Kentucky Derby contenders sponsored by Fasig-Tipton, went an easy half-mile in :50.60 at Oaklawn Park Friday morning as he prepares for his next start in the $1-million GII Rebel S. in Hot Springs Mar. 13. It was the Shortleaf Stable homebred's first serious piece of work since a 10 1/4-length thrashing of his rivals in the Smarty Jones S. Jan. 22. Breezing prior to the first renovation break beneath exercise rider Gustavo Abrego, Caddo...

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Oaklawn Releases New Proposed Integrity Initiatives for '21

Working in partnership with the Arkansas Racing Commission and the Arkansas HBPA (Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association), Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort has announced, subject to legislative approval, a series of significant proposed safety and integrity enhancements planned for the 2021 racing season. Key provisions include the prohibition of Clenbuterol within 60 days of a race, reduction in the maximum amount of Lasix without specific approval, and the mandatory use of safety whips in races. "We began working on these measures last spring," said Oaklawn President Louis Cella. "We hosted a...

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Undefeated Nadal to Stand at Shadai in Japan

'TDN Rising Star' Nadal (Blame--Ascending Angel, by Pulpit), whose four wins from as many trips to the races included the faster of two divisions of the GI Arkansas Derby, will enter stud in 2021 at Shadai Stallion Station in Japan, the organization confirmed in a release Wednesday upon the 3-year-old's arrival in the country. Bred in Kentucky by Sierra Farm, Nadal was purchased by Randy Bradshaw, agent, for $65,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September sale and was successfully resold for $700,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale after breezing an...

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