HOT SPRINGS, AR – Trainer Rodolphe Brisset’s Saratogian has an auspicious task ahead of him as he attempts two turns for the first time in Saturday’s 2nd division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
Saratogian was late to the gate and went unraced at age 2 before winning his debut in February, nosing out victory while covering 6 1/2 furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs. Brisset stretched him out to a one-turn mile in a Gulfstream Park allowance/optional claiming event for his next appearance, but he weakened to finish a well-beaten ninth after stalking the pace.
Jockey Joe Talamo sits near the top of the jockey standings heading into Thursday’s racing action and will try adding to his tally when he hops aboard the son of Empire Maker. Saratogian’s collective owners SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, and Golconda Stables have high hopes after purchasing him for $380k as a yearling.
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The Arkansas Derby is a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race awarding a total of 170 points to the top four finishers. The winner will receive 100 points, with 40 going to second, 20 to third, and 10 to fourth.
Here is the full field for the 1st division of the Arkansas Derby (click on each horse’s name to read an exclusive preview):
|Post||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Morning Line Odds|
|1||Finnick the Fierce||Martin Garcia||Rey Hernandez||15/1|
|2||Saratogian||Joe Talamo||Rodolphe Brisset||50/1|
|3||Storm the Court||Flavien Prat||Peter Eurton||6/1|
|4||King Guillermo||Samy Camacho||Juan Avila||3/1|
|5||Nadal||Joel Rosario||Bob Baffert||5/2|
|6||Code Runner||Stewart Elliott||Steve Asmussen||50/1|
|7||Silver Prospector||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||Steve Asmussen||10/1|
|9||Taishan||David Cohen||Richard Baltas||15/1|
|10||Farmington Road||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||12/1|
|11||Wells Bayou||Florent Geroux||Brad Cox||7/2|