Just two chances left for points on the Road to the Roses, and both happen this Saturday.
A last ditch effort comes in the Grade 3 Lexington, with 20 points to the winner, it maybe enough for a bubble horse to make it in. It’s unlikely that the winner of this race will make a major impact on the first Saturday in May, but it’s possible.
MY BOY JACK drew the outside post in the field of 12, and will be sent off as the favorite. His late running style shouldn’t be hampered by the outside post, as Desormeaux can take a strong hold early and drop well back. There are some speed signed on for him to chase, and he has proven he can finish through the stretch. TELEKINESIS is an interesting option if you want to beat the favorite. He drew well, is lightly raced with just two starts under his belt, and a great rider in JJ Castellano. The more ground the better for him it appears. GREYVITOS will be making his season debut and has some serious catching up to do. PONY UP has done his best work on surfaces other than dirt. So unfortunately this looks like a rather chalky race, but will be interesting to keep an eye on for the Points situation. Post time for the Lexington is 3:34 p.m. MST.
The big race of the afternoon is at Oaklawn with the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby. All of the attention will be focused on MAGNUM MOON who is unbeaten through three starts , and won the Rebel easily. He has worked two straight bullet half mile drills for trainer Todd Pletcher, and looks to continue his march to Louisville for a showdown with JUSTIFY in an attempt to break the “Apollo Curse”. Both MAGNUM MOON and JUSTIFY did not race as two year olds, and no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two year old since APOLLO did it back in 1882.
It may be fair to give SOLOMINI a pass for his 2nd behind MAGNUM MOON in the Rebel as it was his first start this year. Baffert has done extremely well in this race over the past few years, and SOLOMINI could continue that run for the same owners that campaigned American Pharoah.
QUIP skipped the Blue Grass at Keeneland for this spot, and drew post eight of nine. He is another with just one race this season, but it was a win in the Tampa Bay Derby. COMBATANT drew the far outside, but doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct to win – but does like picking up pieces of the trifecta.
The field should be set for the Kentucky Derby following this weekend, so make sure to catch the last two preps! You can of course watch and wager on both at Northlands Park.
Post time for the Arkansas Derby is 5:18 MST.