Overanalyze powers away in Arkansas trial
Report: USA, Saturday
Oaklawn Park: Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo
TRAINER Todd Pletcher has yet another Kentucky Derby contender on his hands after Overanalyze (Rafael Bejarano) stormed home to take the final Grade 1 trial, the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn on Saturday.
Mike Repole's son of Dixie Union came from well of the pace to power away by more than four lengths over Frac Daddy, who is trained by Kenny McPeek. For the trainers involved in the principals, the race was a reverse of the Blue Grass Stakes 50 minutes earlier, where the McPeek-trained Java's War got up on the line to beat Pletcher's Palace Malice.
All four horses are now set for Churchill Downs on May 4, where Pletcher already has the ante-post favourite Verrazano and Louisiana Derby victor Revolutionary in his team.
Overanalyze, sent off a 7-2 shot at Oaklawn, will join them after erasing the memories of a disappointing seasonal debut behind Vyjack in the Gotham Stakes in March.
He had gone into winter quarters as a leading Derby candidate after a pair of Grade 2 wins in the Futurity and Remsen Stakes. "This is my Derby horse, I'm pretty sure," said winning jockey Rafael Bejarano, speaking to the Blood-Horse.
War Academy gave trouble at the gate and was pulled up by Mike Smith after "four or five really awkward steps" in the back stretch.
Also on Saturday
Oaklawn Park: Oaklawn Hcap (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 4yo+
Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned could finish only fifth behind Oaklawn track specialist Cyber Secret (Lynn Whiting/ Robby Albarado), who scored by just short of six lengths at odds of 6-1 after stalking the pace. He was getting 6lb from Fort Larned, who faded after a mild challeneg on entering the stretch.