Hot Springs, AR (SportsNetwork.com) – Eclipse Award winner American Pharoah
is the 1-2 morning line favorite versus seven rivals for Saturday’s $1
million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.
The 1 1/8-mile race offers 100 points to the winning 3-year-old as part of
the Kentucky Derby points system and a place in the 20-horse Run for the Roses
field on May 2.
American Pharoah, last year’s champion 2-year-old colt, will start from post 6
with jockey Victor Espinoza again in the saddle. Since uniting after the
colt lost his career debut, horse and jockey are undefeated in three races.
“We didn’t want to be the one-hole so I was happy with the draw,” said Hall of
Fame trainer Bob Baffert of American Pharoah’s post position. “We should be
fine. He just needs some racing luck.”
American Pharoah, owned by Zayat Stables, won Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes four
weeks ago as the 2-5 favorite, cruising to a 6 1/4-length win over runner-up
The 3-year-old colt currently has 60 points toward securing a place in the 20-
horse starting field for this year’s Run for the Roses.
American Pharoah won the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 3 after finishing fifth in
his debut race last August. He then won the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita
on Sept. 27, but missed the last three months of 2014 with a suspensory-
related injury. He has banked $811,500 with three wins in four starts.
Baffert won the 2012 Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister.
Far Right, winner of Oaklawn’s Southwest Stakes on Feb. 22, is the 9-2 second
pick in the eight-horse field with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith getting his
third straight mount on the chestnut colt. The pair will break from the
favorite’s immediate outside.
Far Right, trained by Ron Moquett for owners Robert LaPenta and Harry
Rosenblum, has 22 points toward a place in the 20-horse field for the Run for
the Roses on May 2. He won Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones Stakes to begin his 3-year-
old season on Jan. 19.
The colt was second his first two times out last year and found the winner’s
circle last September at Churchill Downs. He followed with a fourth in
Belmont Park’s Futurity on Oct. 5 and three weeks later was third in the
Street Sense Stakes at Churchill. Far Right was third in the Delta Downs
Jackpot on Nov. 22 behind Ocho Ocho Ocho.
Far Right has three wins, two seconds and two thirds from eight starts for
Rebel Stakes runner-up Madefromlucky is the 6-1 third choice and will leave
from post 4 with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez riding. The chestnut colt
is owned by Cheyenne Stable and Mac Nichol with Todd Pletcher training.
“In an eight-horse field I am not overly concerned with any post position but
right in the middle is a fine place to start,” said Pletcher who has won the
race the last two years with Overanalyze (2013) and Danza (2014).
Madefromlucky, a son of 2010 champion 3-year-old Lookin At Lucky, comes into
the Arkansas Derby with two wins, two seconds and a third from six starts for
Here is the field for the Arkansas Derby in post position order: The Truth or
Else, Calvin Borel, 15-1; Mr. Z, Ramon Vazquez, 10-1; Bridget’s Big Luvy,
Angel Cruz, 20-1; Madefromlucky, John Velazquez, 6-1; Bold Conquest, Ricardo
Santana Jr., 20-1; American Pharoah, Victor Espinoza, 1-2; Far Right, Mike
Smith, 9-2 and Win the Space, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1.
Post time for the Arkansas Derby will be approximately 7:18 p.m. ET.