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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Trainer Brad Cox’s Wells Bayou will go for his second straight graded stakes score when he breaks from the far outside post in Saturday’s 2nd division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
Wells Bayou broke his maiden on debut by 2 1/4 lengths while covering 6 furlongs over a sloppy Keeneland main track, but he failed to have the same result over a similarly messy Churchill Downs course in his next start. He returned on January 26 to win a muddy mile-long allowance/optional claiming event here by 4 lengths, finished just a length behind familiar rival Silver Prospector in the local Southwest Stakes (G3).
Wells Bayou successfully stretched out to 1 3/16 miles in the Louisiana Derby (G2), taking the field gate to wire to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Florent Geroux will likely attempt similar tactics when he hops in the saddle for the third straight race.
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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