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Arkansas Derby Betting – Tapiture Takes One Step Closer To Churchill Downs

Posted by on 4/9/2014 10:31:22 PM

The Grade-1 Arkansas Derby is one of the major races on the Kentucky Derby prep trail. Two winners of the Arkansas Derby have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby (Sunny’s Halo in 1983 and Smarty Jones 21 years later), but many more have won some huge races. It is run over 1 1/8 miles on dirt at Oaklawn Park with a purse of a cool million dollars.

This field is pretty solid from top to bottom and it should be a very exciting race to the end, but Tapiture will pull it out and keep himself pointed towards Churchill Downs.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, April 12th, post time TBA

Where : Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, AR

Pick :Tapiture

Bayern has burst on the scene with impressive wins in his first two starts, but one was a maiden race and the other was an allowance event. This colt now has to prove he can do it on the big stage and the Arkansas Derby is one of the biggest on the road to Churchill Downs. He will be trained by Bob Baffert, who won this race with Bodemeister in 2012.

Commissioner is the first of two Todd Pletcher-trained horses in this field, and Pletcher is a three-time winner of this race after Overanalyze last year. Commissioner followed up a sixth in the Grade-2 Fountain of Youth with a third in the Grade-3 Sunland Derby, but he will need a monster effort to get into the top three in this race.

Conquest Titan came in fourth at the Grade-2 Tampa Bay Derby after a second in the Grade-2 Holy Bull Stakes, but this horse can be quite inconsistent; see his 13th-place run at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. That makes it tough to get behind this thoroughbred on Saturday.

Danzais the second of the Pletcher stable to enter this race, and he comes in with less fanfare than Commissioner, although not by much. He broke his maiden on his first try, then posted third-place finishes in the Grade-2 Saratoga Special in August, and an allowance race to kick off March. He could be rusty, and he has never run more than a mile, so Danza will likely end up as a darkhorse option.

Ride OnCurlinis interesting as he always seems to be around the front and one of these days, he should win a high-stakes race. He has a pair of wins in eight starts, but those have either been in a maiden (on his second try) or an allowance race, but he does have four third-place runs after showing in the Grade-2 Rebel Stakes and he has a trio of third-place finishes and a fourth in four graded-stakes starts. You might be able to get Ride OnCurlin for some good value, and history could be a factor: Ride On Curlin is the son of Curlin, which won this race in 2007 (along with the Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic in that year).

Strong Mandate finished off a solid 2013 with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, then opened up 2014 with a second in the Grade-3 Southwest Stakes and a fourth in the Rebel Stakes. He should be in the mix for the win or at the very least, a top-three finish, but he may need a little help. If there is an encouraging sign to be found with this colt, it is that he has beaten Ride On Curlin in his last two starts, but he may need just a little more to wind up in the winner’s circle.

Tapiturebeat them both in the Southwest Stakes as he claimed the victory, and then he finished second to Hoppertunity in the Rebel Stakes ahead of Ride On Curlin, so you would have to think he is one the favorites going into Saturday. He has never finished lower than third in six starts, and a victory this weekend probably cements his spot in the Kentucky Derby next month.

Thundergramrounds out the field, but he will be a longshot after finally breaking his maiden on his fifth try. Putting him in a field like this is probably a large risk, but you never know what could happen and a third-place finish to put him in the money would help his handlers out. Don’t count on him too much, though.

How It Will Play Out

Tapiture has been extremely consistent, and he will make it count with a massive win on Saturday.

Arkansas Derby Betting Pick: Tapiture

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