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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Overanalyze Rebounds in Arkansas Derby


By Dick Downey

Overanalyze, in a major form reversal from his first start of the year, came from off the pace to win the Grade I Arkansas Derby in dominant fashion.

Best by 4 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile race, Overanalyze rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the Grade III Gotham Stakes in his 2013 debut.

He was timed in 1:51.94 as horses struggled to get home over Oaklawn Park's long stretch. Falling Sky, who set the pace in fractions of :23.32, :47.64, 1:12.57 and 1:39.22, fell back to fourth as the winner, Frac Daddy and Carve all got by him in the final eighth mile. Only a length separated the second, third and fourth finishers.

Overanalyze, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, made it back into the Kentucky Derby picture. With the 100 Derby points he was awarded for the win at Oaklawn Park, he now has 110 total points.

Frac Daddy, who had four points going in -- and who was sent off at 23-1 odds -- emerged with 44. Third finisher Carve isn't nominated to the Triple Crown, and Falling Sky picked up 10 points to push his total to 30. Falling Sky was ranked number 20 on the Churchill Downs leaderboard after the race, but defections could move him up.

Oxbow finished fifth, leaving his 36-Derby point total unchanged. He was ninth or last of 10 in the early going and was beaten 5 1/4 lengths. Sixth was Den's Legacy, followed by Divine Ambition, Texas Bling and Heaven's Runway. War Academy, the 9-5 post-time favorite, was eased by Mike Smith. He was able to walk off the track.

Overanalyze returned $9.40, $5.60 and $4.60 as the 7-2 third choice.

Overanalyze is owned by Mike Repole, who finds himself back in the Kentucky Derby picture. Uncle Mo, owned by Repole, was scratched from the Kentucky Derby two years ago after leading the race's headlines much of the year. Repole also owned Stay Thirsty, who was twelfth in the 2011 Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes five weeks later.

Bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing Corp., Overanalyze is by Dixie Union out of Unacloud, by Unaccounted For. He's an April 30 foal. Overanalzye brought his record to four wins from seven starts and has now earned $908,381.

Overanalyze is is now among the four horses Pletcher has qualified for the Kentucky Derby. He joins Verrazano, Revolutionary and Palace Malice. Charming Kitten, third in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass, could make it five for the trainer who won the Derby with Super Saver in 2010.

Equibase chart


Rafael Bejarano  on Overanalyze: "This is my Derby horse, I'm pretty sure. Thanks to Mr. Pletcher for giving me the opportunity to ride him today. My horse broke really good. I placed him right behind the early speed because I didn't want to rush him. At the half-mile pole, He started to chase the horses on the lead and he kicked clear. I had a beautiful trip. Once we got to the stretch, I felt like I had a lot of horse left and saved something for the next race."

Mike Repole, owner of Overanalyze (via phone): “When Johnny got off him after the Gotham he said he flattened out probably needed the race. Todd was going to run Verrazano in the Wood, so we decided to split the two horses up and come here. I wasn’t surprised that he won, but I was shocked at how easy he won. I’m really blessed to have a filly (Unlimited Budget) for the Oaks and now a colt for the Derby.”

On trainer Todd Pletcher having three other Kentucky Derby horses – “If I can’t win, I’m always rooting for Todd. It’s a great trainer, but he’s an even better friend.

Phil Bauer, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek, who filed a trainer's objection against the winner that was disallowed: "We were in a full drive and he eased over on us. He had to stop riding for a few seconds. It really did affect the margin of victory so I took a shot in the dark, But I was really pleased with the way out horse ran. You can't take anything away from him."

Ken McPeek, second on Frac Daddy and first with Java's War in the Blue Grass: "The day was excellent. It makes all of the hard work you put in worth it. I couldn't see (from watching on TV in KY) what happened that caused the objection, but he had to put it in. But my horse ran great and he punched his ticket to the Derby. In the past he's shown a lot of talent, and today he put it together. Victor did a very good job riding him. He let him settle and then kept him in the clear.

Victor Lebron, second on Frac Daddy: “My colt ran a game race. I’m happy with second place.”

Ricardo Santana Jr., third on Carve: “I had the perfect trip. I just wish I hadn’t been in the one hole.”

Gary Stevens, fifth on Oxbow (via Twitter): "Things didn't go as planned. Happens a lot. Don't write Oxbow off for (the) Derby just now. Never count a Lukas horse out."

Mike Smith on War Academy:  “He was just very uncertain over the surface and I tried to get him to settle. He was OK the first turn, but then he took four or five really awkward steps. I diodn’t see anything major causing it, but I just felt really awkward on him and figured better safe than sorry so I pulled him up. I didn’t want to take any chances.”


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