GI Arkansas Derby

Laura Moquett's Search For A 'Good Fixer' On The Eve Of The Arkansas Derby

HOT SPRINGS, Arkansas--Counting the well-mannered colt's strides as she takes him to the seven-eighths pole on a brisk Wednesday morning breeze this week at Oaklawn Park, Laura Moquett knows precisely where she wants to be. She understands how much throttle to let out and what visual markers are presenting themselves. Clocking is useful, but it is more about listening intently as she moves forward. An accomplished horseman like Moquett relishes the routine; everyone does, but as an assistant trainer she is never shy when it comes to a good equine...

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'Rising Stars' Muth, Timberlake Lead Arkansas Derby Field

In a field of 10, 'TDN Rising Stars' GISW Muth (Good Magic) and GISW Timberlake (Into Mischief) have drawn the seven and two gate spots, respectively, and lead the charge in Oaklawn's feature GI Kentucky Derby prep race, the GI Arkansas Derby. Muth, 8-5 on the morning line, will attempt to give Bob Baffert his fifth win in the contest, but hasn't started since finding the winner's enclosure in the GII San Vicente S. Jan. 6 at Santa Anita. The colt is ineligible for the Derby points and to run...

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Mystik Dan Readies for Arkansas Derby

Lance Gasaway, 4G Racing and Daniel Hamby III's Mystik Dan (Goldencents) worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 (20/34) over a fast track at the Fair Grounds Saturday morning. Trained by Ken McPeek, the winner of the Feb. 3 GIII Southwest S. is expected to ship to Oaklawn Wednesday in advance of a tilt at the $1.5-million GI Arkansas Derby Mar. 30. McPeek opted to train Mystik Dan up to the Arkansas Derby, which could award as many as 200 qualifying points to its top five eligible finishers (100-50-25-15-10, respectively) for Kentucky...

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Mystik Dan Confirmed for Arkansas Derby, Catching Freedom Possible

Trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed that GIII Southwest S. winner Mystik Dan (Goldencents) is pointing for the GI Arkansas Derby Mar. 30. McPeek said Mystik Dan returned to the Fair Grounds shortly after his eight-length victory in the Southwest, which was postponed a week because of winter weather. According to McPeek, the 21-day return to the GII Rebel S. factored into McPeek's decision to train Mystik Dan up to the Arkansas Derby. McPeek originally sent Mystik Dan to the Fair Grounds to prepare for the Southwest after arctic temperatures, snow and...

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Richest Prep Series Gets Richer At Oaklawn

Oaklawn Park is pumping nearly $1 million more into the purses for its 3-year-old races, the track said in a release Wednesday. Oaklawn increased the purses of the four races pointing toward the GI Kentucky Derby a total of $600,000, with the GI Arkansas Derby bumped to $1,500,000 from $1,250,000; the GII Rebel S. going to $1,250,000 from $1,000,000; and the GIII Southwest S. and Smarty Jones increasing to $800,000 and $300,000, respectively. The purses for the three races for 3-year-old fillies with GI Kentucky Oaks aspirations were also increased,...

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TDN Derby Top 20: Upheaval in the Ranks

A new kingpin graces the No. 1 slot after a wild, final weekend of 100-point preps. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths, with several horses included here who are currently below the cut.   1) PRACTICAL MOVE (c, Practical Joke--Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex) O-Leslie & Pierre Jean Amestoy & Roger Beasley; B-Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $90,000 RNA yrl '21 KEESEP; $230,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-2,...

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West Coasters Breeze Towards Next Preps

Edited Press Release Both National Treasure (Quality Road) and Skinner (Curlin) worked five furlongs Sunday in preparation for the GI Santa Anita Derby that also serves as a final west coast prep for the GI Kentucky Derby. A day earlier, Geaux Rocket Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) had his first work since finishing second in the GII San Felipe S. National Treasure, the morning-line favorite in the San Felipe before scratching due to a bruised foot, worked five furlongs in 1:00 for trainer Tim Yakteen. Stablemates Practical Move (Practical Joke) and...

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$15,000 Weanling Takes Connections to First Kentucky Derby

Barber Road (Race Day) may be one of the longer shots on the board come the first Saturday in May, but there is one thing former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is sure of when it comes to his GI Kentucky Derby hopeful. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I can promise that at the end of the race he's going to be running as hard as he can and he'll be moving forward," Simon said. Trained by John Ortiz, Barber Road has placed in each of the three...

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Gun Runner's Cyberknife Posts Mild Arkansas Derby Upset

Saturday's $1.25-million GI Arkansas Derby was supposed to be all about Secret Oath (Arrogate), who had so dominated her peers that trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner/breeder Briland Farm decided to roll the dice and bypass what would have been a far easier task in the GIII Fantasy S. The betting public largely endorsed the idea, sending the chestnut off as the 7-5 favorite, but in the end, it was not meant to be, as Gold Square LLC's Cyberknife (Gun Runner) was the recipient of a cerebral ride from Florent...

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Secret Oath Works for Arkansas Derby

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...

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Charlatan Attracts Quality First Book for 2022

Hill 'n' Dale President John Sikura couldn't be happier with the book of mares that multiple Grade I-winning 'TDN Rising Star' Charlatan (Speightstown-Authenticity, by Quiet American) has amassed for his first season at stud in 2022. Sikura said the quality embodied in this initial book is unlike many he's seen for a first-year sire. "The compliments we've received from people who have come out to see him have been remarkable," he said. "Eclipse Award-winning breeders are sending Grade I-winning and Grade I-producing mares to him, which is something that is...

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