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Arkansas Derby Betting – American Pharoah Gets Pointed Towards Churchill Downs

Posted by on 4/9/2015 10:09:22 PM

The Grade-1 Arkansas Derby is the final stop in the Kentucky Derby prep trail, where a win will get you into Churchill Downs. This race is 1 1/8 miles on dirt at Oakland Park, and with a purse of $1,000,000, there is a lot at stake, but a ticket to the Kentucky Derby is the big prize.

The top four finishers at the Rebel Stakes will be at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, and the winner there will stake his claim to the Kentucky Derby as American Pharoah will end up in the winner's circle.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, April 11th, post time TBA

Where : Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, AR

Pick : American Pharoah

American Pharoah has to be considered one of the favorites in this race and even though he has yet to break his maiden, he has won three graded-stakes events in a row since finishing fifth in his first maiden try. He won the Grade-1 Del Mar Futurity and the Grade-1 FrontRunner in September, then came back last month to win the Grade-2 Rebel Stakes. That was a big test, but Saturday will be the real examination of this colt.

Bold Conquest finished third at the Rebel and he has finished in the money in five of his six starts, breaking his maiden on his second try. That is his lone win, but Bold Conquest seems to be always around the front and you know that he has the pedigree to win the Arkansas Derby; his sire is Curlin', who won this race in 2007, not to mention the Preakness Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic later that year.

Bridget's Big Luvy is coming off a win at the non-graded Private Terms last month, but he probably is a longshot on Saturday. His two wins have come in that race and his third maiden try, and his other three starts have been fourth, fifth and fifth. He'll need the race of his life to win, or even finish in the money this weekend.

Far Right is being tipped as a challenger for American Pharoah after winning the Grade-3 Southwest Stakes in February, which followed a victory at the non-graded Smarty Jones in January. He has finished in the money in seven of his eight starts, so that means he is in good position at the end of the race, but Far Right will need to find another gear to wind up in the winner's circle on Saturday.

Madefromlucky needed four tries to break his maiden before finally succeeding, then he won an allowance race in February before finishing second at the Rebel, and with a few breaks, he should end up in the money again. He could even win the race if American Pharoah were to stumble, and Madefromlucky is another horse where his pedigree should earn him a look as Lookin' At Lucky was the American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in 2009 and the Three-Year-Old Male Horse in 2010.

Mr. Z is a much better horse than his ninth-place finish at the Grade-2 Louisiana Derby showed, btu you have to consider that he has no graded-stakes wins in nine starts. In 11 starts overall, he has a win which came in his maiden on his first try, four runner-up finishes and three third-place results, but Mr. Z also finished fifth at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November. He might be a good horse, but MR. Z doesn't appear to have that extra gear in the major races and that hurts his chances.

The Truth Or Else was fourth at the Rebel and second at the Southwest, and he has been inconsistent over the last few months. He needed four attempts to break his maiden (the first three were on turf before he switched to dirt), then he posted third-place results at the Grade-1 Champagne and the Grade-2 Nashua before finishing sixth at the Remsen. The Truth Or Else, like Mr. Z, is a good horse, but he might need to be great to win this race and get into the Kentucky Derby.

Win The Space rounds out the field as he makes his graded-stakes debut after needing two tries to break his maiden, and he has never run more than seven furlongs. This seems to be a matter of throwing him out there and see how he competes, but it would be a massive upset if Win The Space even finished in the money on Saturday.

How It Will Play Out

American Pharoah has a couple of challengers to worry about, but this horse is on a roll and he should ride that all the way to Churchill Downs.

Arkansas Derby Betting Pick: American Pharoah

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