ARKANSAS DERBY (GRADE I)
Purse - $1,000,000
Distance - One And One Eighth Miles
Surface - Dirt
1 – Discreetness
2 – Cutacorner
3 – Creator
4 – Suddenbreakingnews
5 – American Pioneer
6 – Unbridled Outlaw
7 – Dazzling Gem
8 – Whitmore
9 – Luna De Loco
10 – Cupid
11 – Gray Sky
12 - Gettysburg
For the most part, the Arkansas Derby is a rematch of the Rebel Stakes in March – and in my opinion it’s likely that the Arkansas Derby will also be a replay of the Rebel Stakes.
In the Rebel, #10 Cupid went wire to wire to the Winner’s Circle holding off #8 Whitmore and a late charging #3 Creator.
The remainder of the field included #1 Discreetness, #2 Cutacorner, #4 Suddenbreakingnews, and #11 Gray Sky.
As you watch the race – one item of note happens at the 1:28 mark – you’ll see Cupid have an awkward step near (or into) the rail – the announcer doesn’t acknowledge it – but I believe Cupid would have finished much stronger had he come out of the final turn smoother.
The Rebel Stakes:
To round out the field we have:
#5 American Pioneer (NOT a close relation to Arkansas Derby Champion and Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah) – American Pioneer has 1 win in two races and has never contended against this kind of competition – I don’t like his inexperience here and I really don’t like his 8/1 odds – I’d think about it, if this horse were closer to 30-1.
#6 Unbridled Outlaw – he has 1 victory in 5 attempts – and finished 2nd in his most recent outing – at 10/1 I’m not a fan.
#7 Dazzling Gem finished 3rd in the Louisiana Derby and is back at the track after only 21 days off – I believe Dazzling Gem is worth a look in this race – in the Louisiana Derby he was fading in his 3rd place finish – but it wasn’t the best trip for him and he’s the only horse with experience at this distance.
Dazzling Gem is well positioned to work his way into the middle of the pack --- and then we’ll see if he can finish stronger this time out. I don’t like him to win – but at 10/1 odds I like him to finish better than American Pioneer and Unbridled Outlaw.
#9 Luna De Loco – finished 13th (in a 14 horse race) in the Southwest Stakes – this horse tapped out around the ½ mile marker of his last race and hasn’t raced in 35 days – perhaps the horse had a minor injury to get over or just needed more training – he’s had two victories out of four races – but I just haven’t seen anything to make me believe he can contend in the Ark. Derby.
And finally #12 Gettysburg finished 2nd at Sunland in his last race and has a career record of 1 win in 5 races – I don’t love him at 6/1.
The Arkansas Derby is (in my opinion) Cupid’s race to lose – HOWEVER starting in the 10th spot, the added distance and this quality field could test his abilities.
However Cupid does have a great song....and that should count for something....Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Sam Cooke!!
Alright.....back to racing.....#3 Creator and #4 Suddenbreakingnews will likely drop to the back of the pack and cruise along there for the first ½ mile or so -- I'll be looking for both of these horses to make a strong late charge at the end of the race.
I’ll be very curious to see what #8 Whitmore will do with his inside position of Cupid.
Cupid will likely want to take the lead and set the pace – the question is - can (or will) Whitmore attempt to keep up the early pace with Cupid in hopes of coming out of the final turn with a better position than Cupid?
Or will Whitmore let Cupid fly by and position himself in the middle of the pack – hoping to finish stronger than his last outing?
|Strangely Sensitive Cheetah likes|
the idea of Cupid but is NOT
a fan of getting shot with his
All things being equal – Cupid is the horse to beat in this race – but with the added distance in this race and a less than optimal post position --- Cupid will have to earn this one.
I think Dazzling Gem (12/1) is a legit long shot possibility.
I’m looking for Suddenbreakingnews to rebound from a mediocre Rebel Stakes – but I think Creator is being overlooked at 10/1.
Closing Speed likes: Cupid/ Creator and Suddenbreakingnews.
If I’m betting $10 on this race I like:
$1 Exacta Box: 3,4,10 = $6
$2 Win – #3 Creator
$2 Win – #7 Dazzling Gem