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HOT SPRINGS, AR – West Point Thoroughbreds and Pearl Racing’s Winning Impression may pray for rain to fall and disrupt the surface prior to running in Saturday’s 1st division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
After failing to hit the board in a pair of 6-furlong sprints on fast surfaces, Winning Impression broke his maiden on a sloppy Fair Grounds surface while covering 1 1/16 miles. The Dallas Stewart trainee finished second and third in two subsequent starts, both on fast tracks, with the latter coming over 1 1/8 miles with Julien Leparoux aboard.
Last time out, Winning Impression crossed the wire first over a sloppy local strip, but the stewards disqualified him and placed him fifth for interfering with a fading foe in deep stretch. The gelded son of Paynter has shown the ability to race on or off the pace and attracted Leparoux to pick up the mount for the second 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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