Hot Springs, AR (SportsNetwork.com) – American Pharoah, last year’s champion
2-year-old, was simply too strong and too good in winning Saturday’s $1
million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.
The Eclipse Award winner, trained by Bob Baffert, solidified his position as
favorite for the upcoming Kentucky Derby with an easy victory in the 1 1/8-
The victory, coming four weeks after his season opening Rebel Stakes win,
added 100 points to the 3-year-old’s previous 60 on the way to the 20-horse
Run for the Roses on May 2.
Owned by Zayat Stables, American Pharoah was the prohibitive 1-10 favorite in
the eight-horse field of 3-year-olds. Jockey Victor Espinoza allowed the
favorite to stalk pacesetter Bridget’s Big Luvy as opposed to American
Pharoah’s usual front-running style.
American Pharoah went easily to the lead on the final turn and quickly drew
away down the stretch. The colt duplicated his stretch run from the Rebel,
when he won by 6 1/4 lengths, and posted an eight-length win in his final
Kentucky Derby prep.
American Pharoah stopped the timer at 1:48.52 well ahead of runner-up Far
Right and Mr. Z. Rounding out the order of finish were Madefromlucky, Bold
Conquest, Win the Space, The Truth Or Else and Bridget’s Big Luvy.
Colt and jockey are undefeated in the four races they’ve been partnered.
American Pharoah garnered $600,000 from Saturday’s win as he cracked the $1
million mark in career earnings. He has banked $1,411,500 with four wins from
five lifetime starts.
It was Baffert’s second win in the Arkansas Derby, joining Bodemeister’s in
American Pharoah returned $2.20, $2.20 and $2.10. Far Right paid $2.80 and
$2.40, and Mr. Z paid $3.80 to show.