Every spring, in this always-precarious homestretch of the Kentucky Derby preps, we know approximately half the class, or at least we may have a good idea where they’re headed. And we may, if we have paid proper attention in the last year’s better meetings, feel like we might know or at least suspect who the likely suspects are in the other half. Despite that, the last five hundred-point races hold some surprises, and tomorrow’s $1.25-million Arkansas Derby is definitely looking like it will live up to that bill.
It’s common among handicappers to overweight the Derby points, and although they are useful in helping us compare some contenders, if we are looking at a bet to back Rocket Can, with 40 Derby points, or Angel of Empire, with 54, it’s a fair wash. The Derby point difference is not going to be nearly as significant as tactical speed and presence of mind in the heat of battle.
(Arkansas Derby: Post Position, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, Morning Line)
1. Bourbon Bash, D. Wayne Lukas, Reylu Gutierrez, 15-1
2. Interlock Empire, Kenny McPeek, David Cabrera, 20-1
3. Harlocap, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr., 15-1
4. Two Eagles River, Chris Hartman, Nik Juarez, 10-1
5. Airtime, Robertino Diodoro, Cristian Torres, 15-1
6. Angel of Empire, Brad Cox, Flavien Prat, 9-2
7. Rocket Can, Bill Mott, Junior Alvarado, 4-1
8. Reincarnate, Tim Yakteen, John Velazquez, 5-2
9. King Russell, Ron Moquett, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1
10. Red Route One, Steve Asmussen, Tyler Gaffalione, 3-1
11. Kolomio, Keith Desormeaux, James Graham, 30-1
(Source: Oaklawn Park, 3/28/2023)