McPeek, Lukas May Jump In
On Friday at Oaklawn Park, Petrov and Silver Dust began more serious preparations for the Arkansas Derby as the field continues to build.
Petrov, the day’s first officially timed worker, covered four furlongs over a fast track in :50.40. Clockers caught Petrov’s last quarter-mile in :24 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:03. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Rebel Stakes.
Silver Dust, fourth in the Southwest and fifth in the Rebel, breezed four furlongs in :48.00 after the renovation break for trainer Randy Morse. The Tapit colt worked in company and covered his last quarter-mile in :23.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.40, according to clockers.
Other locally based horses pointing for the Arkansas Derby include Untrapped and Lookin At Lee, third and and sixth, respectively, in the Rebel.
Also scheduled to run in the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby is Classic Empire, the country’s champion 2-year-old male that was third in the Holy Bull Stakes in his only start this year.
Blueridge Traveler, runner-up in the Spiral Stakes, is possible for the Arkansas Derby, trainer Ken McPeek said Friday. The trainer said Blueridge Traveler is scheduled to work on April 8 at Keeneland.
D. Wayne Lukas said Friday morning that Dilettante is under consideration for the Arkansas Derby. The colt ran sixth, beaten 16 1/4 lengths, by Hence in the Sunland Derby under Gary Stevens.
“He didn’t handle the track at all down there, and they say that’s very typical,” Lukas said. “I’m not familiar with Sunland. I haven’t been there for 40 years. Gary Stevens called me after the race and said that he struggled with it all day. He had beat Hence last out, so it was kind of freak thing. I don’t know what to make of the race.”
Hence and Dilettante are owned by Brad Kelley's Calumet Farm. Lukas said Dilettante is his only candidate for the Arkansas Derby. Warrior’s Club, 11th in the Southwest, remains probable for the Northern Spur Stakes on April 15, Lukas said.
Edited Oaklawn Park release