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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Local Talent to Battle Arkansas Derby Shippers


By Dick Downey

A field of 10 was entered in the Grade I Arkansas Derby, led by two local runners and shippers from both East and West of Hot Springs.

Wayne Lukas will send out Oxbow, narrowly defeated under Mike Smith by Will Take Charge in the Grade II Rebel Stakes. Oxbow has been in training at Oaklawn Park for several months and has breezed twice over the track since the Rebel. He'll be ridden by Gary Stevens this time and is the second morning line choice at 5-2.

Texas Bling, trained by Danele Durham, comes back off of a fourth-place finish in the Rebel. Durham has sent the Texas-bred son of Too much Bling out for three breezes since the Rebel. Calvin Borel will be a board Texas Bling for the first time.

From California, Bob Baffert sends in a pair of runners, Den's Legacy and War Academy.

War Academy -- the 2-1 morning line favorite -- has been highly touted since winning a 1 1/16-mile entry-level allowance at Santa Anita on March 15, his first race at two turns. Mike Smith will again be aboard War Academy, a son of Giant's Causeway.

Den's Legacy, a son of Medaglia d'Oro, returns to the scene of his third-place finish in the Rebel, when he was written by Robbie Albarado, who will be in the irons again on Saturday.

Falling Sky, trained by John Terranova II, ships over from Churchill Downs after spending the winter in Florida. He was most recently third in the Grade III Tampa bay Derby won by Verrazano. Falling Sky tuned up for the Arkansas Derby on Sunday with a five-furlong bullet breeze timed in :59.60 at Churchill Downs. Martin Garcia replaces Jose Espinoza in the saddle.

Todd Pletcher sends in Overanalyze from his barn at Palm Meadows. With regular rider John Velasquez sidelined, Rafael Bejarano will be on the son of Dixie Union. Overanalyze will make his second start of the year after running fifth as the second betting choice in the Grade III Gotham Stakes on March 2.

Heaven's Runway, who'll be considered a longshot, makes his first start since the Grade III Southwest Stakes when he finished third, beaten 13 1/2 lengths by Super Ninety Nine on Feb. 18. On March 16, Heaven's Runway returned to the work tab for the first time, and he breezed again on March 27 for trainer Ron Moquett. Heaven's Runway will be ridden by Israel Ocampo.

Frac Daddy made a surprise appearance on the plane from Florida this week. He runs back for Ken McPeek two weeks after finishing seventh, beaten 18 lengths in the Grade I Florida Derby. He had been said to be pointing to the Grade III Illinois Derby, but there was a recent change of heart by his camp after Frac Daddy breezed at Gulfstream Park on April 7. Victor Lebron has the mount.

Divine Ambition was cross-entered in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes but is also-eligible in that race. Trained by Darrin Miller, Divine Ambition finished second to Crop Report in the Rushaway Stakes on March 23. James Graham is named to ride.

Carve, trained by Steve Asmussen, won an allowance race at Oaklawn before finishing sixth, beaten nine lengths by Will Take Charge, in the Rebel. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will be aboard.

Saturday, R10
Grade I Arkansas Derb
Oaklawn Park
1 1/8 Mile
Post Time: 5:28

Post   Horse ML  Jockey Wt Trainer
1 Carve (KY 20-1 R. Santana Jr. 118 S. Asmussen
2 War Academy (KY) 2-1 M. Smith 118 B. Baffert
3 Divine Ambition (KY) 20-1 J. Graham 118 D. Miller
4 Falling Sky (PA) 10-1 M. Garcia 122 J. Terranova II
5 Den's Legacy (FL) 6-1 R. Albarado 122 B. Baffert
6 Heaven's Runway (KY) 30-1 I. Ocampo 122 J. Martin
7 Texas Bling (TX) 20-1 C. Borel 122 D. Durham
8 Frac Daddy (KY) 15-1 V. Lebron 118 K. McPeek
9 Overanalyze (KY) 4-1 R. Bejarano 122 T. Pletcher
10 Oxbow (KY) 5-2 G. Stevens 122 D. Lukas

All will run with Lasix

Owners: 1 - Michael Langford ; 2 - Tabor, Michael, Magnier, John and Smith, Derrick ; 3 - Silverton Hill LLC (Tommy & Bonnie Hamilton) ; 4 - Newtown Anner Stud, Covello, James and Bulger, Joseph ; 5 - Westrock Stables LLC (Scott T. & Joe T. Ford) ; 6 - K.K. Jayaraman & V. Devi Jayaraman ; 7 - Hall's Family Trust (Lewis A. Hall) ; 8 - Magic City Thoroughbred Partners ; 9 - Repole Stable ; 10 - Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley)

Breeders: 1 - Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider; 2 - Doug Branham; 3 - Shelby Lane Farm & Divine Park Syndicate; 4 - Copper Penny Stables LLC; 5 - Gaye Swartz; 6 - Dr. K. K. Jayaraman & Dr. V. DeviJayaraman; 7 - Hall's Family Trust; 8 - Nancy M. Leonard Living Trust; 9 - Diamond A Racing Corp.; 10 - Colts Neck Stables LLC


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