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Submitted by John Conte on Monday, April 9, 2018 at 4:00 PM

On The Derby Trail With John Conte

SATURDAY'S ARKANSAS DERBY IS THE LAST 100 POINT DERBY PREP QUALIFIER...BUT IT IS FAR FROM THE LEAST

After last week's triple dose of 100 point Derby Prep qualifiers, the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby which brought headlines to the likes of Vino Rosso, Good magic and Justify the attention will turn this Saturday to Hot Springs, Arkansas

It is here where Oaklawn Park will conclude another spectacular meet with the running of the Grade 1 ARKANSAS DERBY.

Undoubtedly the national attention lavished on last week's trio of Preps will, as it does year in and year out, die down a bit. But based on the kind of Kentucky Derby influence and even more importantly, the kind of competitive top notch race the ARKANSAS DERBY provides for bettors every year is no step sister or step brother to any of the other 100 point contests.

In fact, I can only tell you that as a nationally known handicapper who also GETS IN ACTION with the same selections I give my clients, I'm going to be all in on the 2018 edition.

(FIRST SOME RECENT PAYOFF HISTORY)

Traditionally, with the exception of American Pharoah's dominance in 2015, this race has been a bettor's dream.
Just look at the average payoffs since 2009:

*Average Winner Paid $28.65 (that's slightly higher than the average win payoff for the Kentucky Derby.)
*Average Exacta Paid $213.45
*Average Trifecta Paid $2,342.35
*Average Superfecta Paid $13,498.45

And to show you how incredibly competitive these editions of the ARKANSAS DERBY have been...those payoffs were produced form an average field size of 10.5 horses.

You can begin to see why I love this race...especially since in those 8 races mentioned, in addition to the American Pharoah race where I hit the Winner, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta...I have cashed;

6 Winners...(4 On Top)
5 Exactas...3 Trifectas...And A Superfecta

NOW A LITTLE RACE HISTORY

In addition to the legacy the 3-year olds create for themselves by winning such an important Grade 1 Race, the graduates of the Arkansas Derby have more than held their own in the Kentucky Derby and on top of that have greatly contributed to some healthy exotic payouts on the first Saturday of May.

2017
Lookin At Lucky - 3rd in Arkansas Derby (AD)...2nd in Kentucky Derby (KD) at 33-1
Classic Empire - Won AD...4th in KD at 7-1
2015
American Pharoah - Won AD...Won KD and Triple Crown
2014
Danza - Won AD...3rd in KD at 9-1
2012
Bodemeister - Won AD...2nd in KD at 4-1
2011
Nehro - 2nd in AD...2nd in KD at 9-1
2010
Super Saver - 2nd AD...Won KD at 8-1

I guess you can begin to see why this race has been such a large part of my Prep success and follow up success in the Kentucky Derby.

 

AND SPEAKING OF PREP SUCCESS...

Take a look at what I have done since the beginning of March:
4/7 - Wood Memorial (Aqueduct)
Enticed - 2nd Exacta $31.40...Firenze Fire - 4th...Vino Rosso - W $10.40

4/7 - Blue Grass Stakes (Keeneland)
Good Magic - W $5.20

4/7 - Santa Anita Derby
Bolt d'Oro - 2nd Exacta $5.40...Justify - W $3.80...Instilled Regard - 4th Superfecta $55.40...Core Beliefs - 3rd Trifecta $39.20

3/31 - Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park)
Audible - W $5.20

3/25 - Sunland Derby (Sunland Park)
Runaway Ghost -W $9.80

3/24 - Louisiana Derby
Noble Indy -W $7.40...Snapper Sinclair - Out...Lone Sailor - 2nd Exacta $74.00...My Boy Jack - 3rd Trifecta $381.40

3/17 - Rebel Stakes (Oaklawn)
Magnum Moon - W $8.00...Solomini - 2nd Exacta $22.00

3/10 - Gotham Stakes (AQ)
Enticed - W $8.80

3/10 - Tampa Bay Derby
World Of Trouble - 3rd Trifecta $910.40...Flameaway - 2nd Exacta $302.00...Tiz Mischief - Out...Quip - W $40.20

3/3 - Fountain Of Youth Stakes (GP)
Promises Fulfilled - W $38.20...Strike Power - (2nd) Exacta $230.00...Good Magic- (3rd) Trifecta $509.40


SO HOW DOES SATURDAY'S ARKANSAS DERBY SHAPE UP?

After watching the three prep races last weekend and with other Derby contenders such as Audible, Noble Indy, Mendelssohn and Runaway Ghost already finished prepping and training up to the Kentucky Derby you'd think Oaklawn would have run out of Top Notch horses.

Nothing could be further from fact. The crowd at Hot Springs and national simulcast players can expect another deep field lead by the likes of:

  • MAGNUM MOON...the Todd Pletcher trained son of Malibu Moon who blitzed his competition in the Rebel Stakes and probably hasn't seen his top yet.
  • QUIP...who scratched out of the Blue grass to race here, and was flattered when the two horses he beat when he won the Tampa Bay Derby, Vino Rosso and Flameaway returned Saturday and respectively won the Wood Memorial and placed in the Blue Grass Stakes.
  • SOLOMINI - As if Justify wasn't enough, Bob Baffert sends out this solid colt who might only need a bit more racing luck then he had when he finished second behind Magnum Moon in the Rebel.
  • COMBATANT - You can't sleep on this deep closer who was second in the mile Smarty Jones, third in the mile and a sixteenth Southwest Stakes and gets extra ground in this 9 furlong test following a just completed 5 furlong 1:01 1/5 bullet that impressed backstretch mavens.


I'M READY FOR ANOTHER BIG SCORE...ARE YOU?

In the few words above I've given you every reason you should join me this Saturday...SO HERE ARE YOUR OPTIONS:

ONE - Play My 1-2-3-4 Finishers In The Arkansas Derby - Just $25 - Info Here
(And I'll Include My 1-2-3-4 Finishers In The Lexington Stakes As Well)

TWO - Play My Full Card Of Races At Oaklawn...Winner Thru Trifecta Selections (Plus Superfectas When Probable) Plus DD, P3'S & P4's...Only $50 - Info Here
(And I'll Not Only Include the Lexington Stakes But My 1-2-3-4 Kentucky derby Selections, Saturday, May 5 FREE)

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