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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s Code Runner will try to make it two in a row as he returns to the stakes level in Saturday’s 2nd division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
Code Runner needed five starts and a stewards’ disqualification after a rival bumped him late and nosed him at the wire before he broke his maiden at Remington Park last December. Asmussen sent him straight to the stakes level for his next start, but the move may have been premature, as he finished last of seven in the Riley Allison Derby at Sunland Park.
Code Runner dropped down to the allowance/optional claiming ranks for his next start and finished third behind Long Weekend, who went on to win a pair of sprint stakes at Oaklawn Park. The Honor Code colt won his most recent appearance, a mile-long allowance event at Sam Houston, and will have Stewart Elliott aboard for the first time.
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):
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