April 10th 2018 – Updated April 14th 2018 6:26 PM CST
The last of the major Derby preps are coming up this Saturday at Oaklawn Park. I totally love the Arkansas Derby and Oaklawn Park but won’t be able to preview it accurately as I will be in Las Vegas on vacation until Saturday afternoon.
Overall, from anticipated entries, this is Todd Pletcher’s trainee Magnum Moon‘s race. I don’t feel at this point that this Derby prep that any colt that can beat Justify, Mendelssohn or Bolt d’Oro. I don’t even think that Magnum Moon, who I would make this Arkansas Derby’s favorite, is even Todd Pletcher’s best Derby hopeful at this point. That honor goes to Audible–the Florida Derby winner.
But we will see. I reserved judgement, for the most part, until all Derby preps are run. But barring some unexpected result, your top four Derby hopefuls at this point are: Justify, Mendelssohn, Bolt d’Oro and Audible. I do love Magnum Moon’s pedigree so perhaps I may move him up my rankings with a great performance.
Below are the entries, post-positions, weights, jockey assignments and morning line odds:
The Arkansas Derby – 1 1/8th Mile – Race #11 at Oaklawn Park – Post-Time: 6:18 PM CST. Televised by TVG
1. Beautiful Shot (122) – Eramia/Desormeaux – 30/1
2. Machismo (118) – Spieth/Quartarolo – 20/1
3. Ten Fold (118) – Espinoza/Asmussen – 4/1
4. Dream Baby Dream (118) – Contreras/Asmussen – 15/1
5. Solomini (118) – Prat/Baffert – 2/1
6. Magnum Moon (122) – Saez/Pletcher – 8/5
7. Plainsman (118) – McMahon/Van Meter – 30/1
8. Quip (122) – Geroux/Brisset – 9/2
9. Combatant (115) – Santana Jr/Asmussen – 6/1
Update: No scratches to report. I liked straight Win bets on Magnum Moon but not at 1/2 or 3/5 live odds. A Place bet on Solomini might pay out as much, if not more, than a win bet on Magnum Moon. If this race has taught me anything the last five years, sometimes there are surprise performances. Although I think Magnum Moon will win, I am laying low and making a $2 Place bet on Plainsman at 99-1. And a $2 Exacta keying Magnum Moon over Solomini, Plainsman and Quip. That is 6 over 5,7,8. So $8 total bet.
On the Docket…
I am planning a big article for US Racing. Last year, one of my articles was the top viewed article on that site during Derby month. I hope to duplicate that accomplishment this year and I think you will enjoy it.