Cupid Points Arrow at $1 Million Arkansas Derby
Category : News
Fri 15/04/2016 - 21:37 EDT
On Saturday at Oaklawn Park, the road to the Kentucky Derby will continue with the $1 million Arkansas Derby. The Grade 1 event will be run at a mile and an eighth and has drawn a field of twelve three-year-old colts and geldings.
Cupid headlines the field as the morning line favorite at 2-1 for trainer Bob Baffert. A gray son of Tapit, he made his stakes debut a winning one last time out with a victory in the Rebel Stakes (G2). Last year, Baffert saddled American Pharoah to win the Arkansas Derby (G1) in his final prep before sweeping the Triple Crown. The lightly-raced colt will be making only his fifth career start and will have regular rider Martin Garcia in the irons from post position ten.
Whitmore trying for breakthrough victory
Second choice at morning line odds of 9-2 is the consistent Whitmore for trainer Ron Moquett. A chestnut son of Pleasantly Perfect, the gelding has been on the board in four of his five starts and will be trying to earn the first stakes victory of his career. He has been second in his last two starts against graded stakes competition and is scheduled to break from post position eight under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Gettysburg looking for a spot in the Derby
Also in the field at morning line odds of 6-1 is Gettysburg for trainer Todd Pletcher. A gray son of Pioneerof the Nile, he was purchased for $425,000 as a yearling and has one win from five starts. He will be trying to earn his first black type victory and is coming out of a runner-up effort behind Collected in the Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes. John Velazquez will be aboard and they will break from the outside post.
After all the drama of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the racing scene shifts to Pimlico Race Course in anticipation of the running of the 2019 Preakness Stakes. A couple of the high-profile contenders from the Derby are expected in the field, as well as a number of new shooters that add to the handicapping puzzle and could provide good betting value.
The field has been established for the 2016 running of the Belmont Stakes and of the thirteen contenders, there are four horses who competed in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and are moving on to the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Wise guys who liked Stradivari in the Preakness have every right to maintain their enthusiasm for the Todd Pletcher-trained colt in the Belmont Stakes where the intriguing runner will likely make his next start.
The 2016 edition of the Preakness Stakes is in the record books and horse racing fans will have to go another year without a Triple Crown on the line. Exaggerator was able to defeat his rival and step into the spotlight with a victory at Pimlico Race Course.