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Arkansas Derby Contender Spotlight: Nadal
Nadal working at Santa Anita Park (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Arkansas Derby Contender Spotlight: Nadal

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s Nadal will attempt to keep his unblemished streak intact in Saturday’s 2nd division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.

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Nadal was one of Baffert’s most hyped juveniles last summer, but a freak accident while trailering between tracks delayed his unveiling until January 19, when he conquered a 6 1/2-furlong sprint by 3 3/4 lengths. Baffert wheeled him back just three weeks later for the 7-furlong San Vicente Stakes (G2), but Nadal withstood the test and defeated Ginobili and Storm the Court, among others.

Baffert shipped Nadal to Oaklawn Park for the Rebel Stakes (G2), which he won by 3/4 of a length while encountering two turns and an off track for the first time. The Blame colt, purchased for $700,000, has already earned that back ($753,000) and has fired three bullet workouts since the Rebel.

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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):

PostHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Finnick the FierceMartin GarciaRey Hernandez15/1
2SaratogianJoe TalamoRodolphe Brisset50/1
3Storm the CourtFlavien PratPeter Eurton6/1
4King GuillermoSamy CamachoJuan Avila3/1
5NadalJoel RosarioBob Baffert5/2
6Code RunnerStewart ElliottSteve Asmussen50/1
7Silver ProspectorRicardo Santana, Jr.Steve Asmussen10/1
8Fast EnoughTyler BazeRafael Becerra12/1
9TaishanDavid CohenRichard Baltas15/1
10Farmington RoadJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher12/1
11Wells BayouFlorent GerouxBrad Cox7/2

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