Mike Hartnett | WAVE 3 News
We are approaching the final furlong for the Kentucky Derby prep season.
Saturday’s Arkansas Derby is the last major tuneup heading into the Run for the Roses on May 4. Oaklawn Park’s mile-and-an-eighth race features two of the Derby’s leading contenders: Omaha Beach and Improbable.
Omaha Beach is looking to build on his rousing victory over Game Winner in last month’s Rebel Stakes. Improbable needs Derby points and he’ll need to at least hit the board to punch his ticket to Churchill Downs.
Both these colts figure prominently in our lastest rankings:
1. Roadster – It’s almost a coin toss for the No. 1 spot between him and his stablemate, Game Winner. Roadster’s win in last weekend’s Santa Anita Derby puts him atop the list. Going great since last year’s throat surgery.
2. Game Winner – Yes indeed he’s game. He never takes a day off. Although he finished second in both the Rebel and at Santa Anita, the colt fought and fought.
3. Omaha Beach – He roared into the Derby picture last month by knocking off the favorite, Game Winner, in the Rebel. He really had to dig deep to win at Oaklawn.
4. Improbable – It’s good to be Bob Baffert, as the Hall of Famer dominates our top five this week. He’s coming off a loss in one of the Rebel divisions, but he has the right to improve after his layoff heading into that close second-place effort.
5. Tacitus – So far, he’s the only Derby contender with two major preps wins: The Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood.
6. Vekoma – He seems to be getting better and better. His Blue Grass victory moves him up the list.
7. Maximum Security – He may be the pacesetter on Derby Day. Exploded onto the scene with his fast win in the Florida Derby.
8. Win Win Win – He had some traffic woes in the Blue Grass but managed to rally for second. He’ll have to improve to match up with the big contenders.
9. Code of Honor – He heads to Churchill off his third in the Florida Derby. Couldn’t close vs. Maximum Security. Hoping for a better pace setup in Louisville.
10. War of Will – Somebody’s got to be 10th. His off-the-board finish in the Louisiana Derby (he did suffer a mild injury at the start) isn’t the script you’d want going into the Kentucky Derby, but he has shown ability.