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Best Actor Goes For 2nd Straight Stakes Score | 2022 Oklahoma Derby Preview & FREE Picks
Equi-Photo / Bill Denver

Best Actor Goes For 2nd Straight Stakes Score | 2022 Oklahoma Derby Preview & FREE Picks

Aaron previews the 2022 Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park, then gives his top picks and longshots. The Brad Cox trainee Best Actor goes for his 2nd straight stakes score following his dominating victory in the Smarty Jones Stakes (G3). Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The track press release:

The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby headlines a 12-race program on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Remington Park. The headliner drew a field of eight this morning with Best Actor tabbed the morning-line favorite at 9-5 odds.

Owned by Gary and Mary West of Omaha, Neb., Best Actor will attempt to give trainer Brad Cox his fourth consecutive victory in the Oklahoma Derby. Most recently, the winner of the Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx in Philadelphia, Best Actor will try to join Owendale (2019), Shared Sense (2020) and Warrant (2021) as Cox-trained derby winners at Remington Park.

Best Actor has only had four career starts, all as a 3-year-old, winning three of the four. The lone defeat was a second-place effort in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis, where he was beaten only a half-length by Actuator. Jockey Florent Geroux will keep the mount he has had with Best Actor in his last two attempts. Geroux rode Owendale to victory in the Oklahoma Derby to begin the string of triumphs in Oklahoma City for Cox.

Rattle N Roll has the second status on the morning-line at 5-2 odds, after winning the $250,000 St. Louis Derby at FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, in southern Illinois. Owned by Lucky Seven Stable of Louisville, Ky. and trained by Ken McPeek, Rattle N Roll won the St. Louis Derby by 4-1/2 lengths. Earlier in the year, Rattle N Roll ran third to Cyberknife in the Grade 3, $225,000 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs. Cyberknife, the Arkansas Derby winner, went on to be victorious in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Stakes and was runner-up in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga this summer. Jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. will ride Rattle N Roll as he has in all but two of the colt’s 12 career attempts.

Rattle N Roll leads all entrants in the Oklahoma Derby with career earnings of $758,105. He also won the $200,000 American Derby at Churchill Downs in July and was the winner of the Grade 1, $500,000 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland in October 2021 as a 2-year-old.

Racing’s all-time leading trainer, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, has entered King Ottoman for the Oklahoma Derby as he tries to win the race for a second time. Owned by Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., King Ottoman was victorious in the $300,000 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas in May. That win is the only career victory from six attempts for this colt by Curlin from the Tapit mare Shook Up. King Ottoman will be ridden by Stewart Elliott and is 5-1 in the morning-line.

Other derby winners in the Oklahoma Derby on Sunday include: Grade 3 Canadian Derby winner Great Escape (8-1 odds) and Manitoba Derby winner Red Knobs (12-1), both trained by Robertino Diodoro who won the race in 2013 with Broadway Empire; and Steal Sunshine (8-1), winner of the Ellis Park Derby in Henderson, Ky. in August.

Here is the Oklahoma Derby field, by post position and program order, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
1. Steal Sunshine: Bobby Dibona, Leonel Reyes, 6-1
2. Red Knobs: Robertino Diodoro, Jorge Carreno, 12-1
3. Flash Of Genius: Shawn Davis, Leandro Goncalves, 15-1
4. Best Actor: Brad Cox, Florent Geroux, 9-5 (morning-line favorite)
5. Rattle N Roll: Ken McPeek, Brian Hernandez, Jr., 5-2
6. Big Chopper: Jayde Gelner, Lane Luzzi, 15-1
7. King Ottoman: Steve Asmussen, Stewart Elliott, 5-1
8. Great Escape: Robertino Diodoro, Cristian Torres, 8-1