Arkansas Derby


This is the final 100 point Triple Crown prep of 2021 and is normally a great race with a big field.  Not this year!  While a very strong contender is scheduled to run, the race is primarily a repeat of the Rebel stakes with a small field and little betting interest.  There are a couple of confirmed front runners and although the pace scenario may be different than the Rebel I still don't expect it to be fast.

1. Super Stock - Badly beaten in Rebel in first start of 2021 and while improvement is possible in 2nd start, don't see this one making an impact on the exacta.  Does get Santana back which help.  Best case 3rd.

2. Caddo River - Thought this one was over rated off a slow Smarty Jones effort.  Drew the rail in Rebel and still didn't get the lead and tired badly in stretch.  May be sent to front more aggressively today but don't think he will be any match for Concert Tour in the stretch.  Likely misses exacta again.

3. Hozier - Improved significantly in 3rd start of year and gained 10 lengths on Concert Tour from debut MSW.  Was a solid 2nd in Rebel.  Less likely to improve again but fired a really fast 4F bullet (wish it was longer) and think a similar result happens today.  Likely 2nd.

4. Get Her Number - Read what I wrote about Super Stock except ran even worse.  Toss.

5. Concert Tour - Another good draw.  Can go to lead or rate in 2nd off Caddo River.  Either way he blows that one away in the stretch and has to hold off his stable mate Hozier for the victory.  I have been high on this horse since before Future Wager 2 and have him to win Kentucky Derby at 17-1 for the West Family (who sold Life is Good!).    4th start of year (and lifetime) is concerning but first two were sprinting.  Comes in with fast 6F bullet.  Should win easily.

6. Last Samurai - Will be the longest shot in the race and deservedly so.  However, this horse has much more upside than the #1 or #4.  His first start of year was in the slop which he may not have cared for.  Additionally his trainer is profitable in graded stakes and has a great ROI with Jon Court.  Fast work-out on 3/20.  Horse is not in here unless Dallas Stewart thinks he belongs.  Maybe 3rd.

Bottom Line - If pace of race is really hot with a duel between Caddo River & Concert Tour, it could set up for Hozier from off the pace but I think this is unlikely.  I will play an ICE COLD EXACTA 5-3 and hope that either the #1 or #6 gets up for 3rd for the TRIFECTA.  Playing against Caddo River again.