HOT SPRINGS, AR – Early Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Keepmeinmind has settled in at Oaklawn Park after arriving Sunday night and will start building towards his 2021 debut, according to track officials.
Owned by Cypress Creek and Arnold Bennewith, Keepmeinmind’s late-running style has put the son of hot sire Laoban on the board in all 4 career starts.
After running second in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) (both times behind likely 2-Year-Old Champion Essential Quality), he broke his maiden last time out in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) as the 2/1 favorite.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro kept him in light training at WinStar Farm for 30 days and was pleased with how he appeared upon his Arkansas arrival, though he was reticent about a timetable for recording works.
“He seemed all eager to go,” Diodoro said. “It was good to have him back in the barn. One step at a time.”
Multiple Grade 1-winning jockey David Cohen, aboard Keepmeinmind for all but the Breeders’ Cup, was Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2019. While he’s still seeking his first graded stakes victory over the local strip, that could change sooner than later.
Oaklawn’s 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby features 4 stakes, 3 graded:
- $150,000 Smarty Jones (1 mile)
- $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) (1 1/16 miles)
- $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) (1 1/16 miles)
- $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) (1 1/8 miles)
“We’re excited that he has arrived at Oaklawn Park,” said Vinny Blond of Real Dynasty Picks, who took Keepmeinmind fourth overall in the 2021 Racing Dudes Fantasy League Draft. “We were hoping that we would not need to wait too long to see him make his 3-year-old debut, and with him now at Oaklawn, we are confident that he will be running in one of the early Kentucky Derby prep races.”