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Arkansas Derby Contender Spotlight: Taishan
Taishan after breaking his maiden (Credit: Benoit Photo)

Arkansas Derby Contender Spotlight: Taishan

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Calvin Nguyen and Joey Tran’s Taishan will try to make his fourth stakes start a winning one in Saturday’s 2nd division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.

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Taishan faced several future Kentucky Derby Trail rivals in his first two starts, breaking his maiden at second asking while going two turns at Santa Anita Park. He was well-beaten in his next two starts, however, finishing fourth there in the Sham Stakes (G3) and fifth here in the Southwest Stakes (G3).

Trainer Richard Baltas kept Taishan in Hot Springs following the Southwest, a move that resulted in a resounding 4 3/4-length score in the slop against allowance/optional claiming rivals. Most recently, he was third in a sloppy edition of the Oaklawn Stakes and has attracted David Cohen, near the top of the meet’s jockey standings, to ride here.

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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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