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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Trainer Robertino Diodoro said Thursday morning that he’s leaning toward starting Keepmeinmind in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 10 at Oaklawn.
Diodoro said Keepmeinmind is also under consideration for the $800,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) April 3 at Keeneland, but it appears his final Kentucky Derby (G1) trail push will be made at Oaklawn, where the late-running son of Laoban has been based since late December.
“It could change, but right now, I’m pointing towards the Arkansas Derby,” Diodoro said. “Just being here, not having to ship.”
Keepmeinmind made his delayed 3-year-old debut in the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) last Saturday at Oaklawn and finished sixth, beaten 8 lengths, by Concert Tour. Diodoro said Keepmeinmind returned to the track Thursday morning for the first time since the Rebel, which was Oaklawn’s third of four Kentucky Derby points races and its final major prep for the Arkansas Derby.
Concert Tour Remains Unbeaten After Rebel Runoff
“The Blue Grass is an option, but right now I’m pointing him to that,” Diodoro said.
The Rebel marked the first start for Keepmeinmind since his last-to-first maiden victory in the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) November 28 at Churchill Downs. Prior to the Kentucky Jockey Club, Keepmeinmind finished second in the $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) October 3 at Keeneland and third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) November 6 at Keeneland.
Keepmeinmind was to have made his 3-year-old debut in the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) February 15 at Oaklawn before the race was postponed 12 days because of severe winter weather. Diodoro then opted to launch Keepmeinmind 2021 campaign in the Rebel.
Unbeaten Essential Quality, who won the Breeders’ Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile en route to an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion 2-year-old male, captured the Southwest in his 3-year-old debut. Essential Quality is pointing to the Blue Grass, trainer Brad Cox said.
Keepmeinmind has 18 points to rank No. 14 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, according to Churchill Downs.
Diodoro-trained Dreamer’s Disease, who ran sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, moved closer to his 3-year-old debut by working a half-mile in :51 over a fast track Thursday morning at Oaklawn. Diodoro, Oaklawn’s leading trainer last year, said he would like to start Dreamer’s Disease before the meeting ends May 1.
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