Arkansas Derby last chance to make Kentucky Derby Top 20

Apr 11, 2017 Vance Hanson/

There are only two point-scoring preps remaining in this 2017 Road to the Kentucky Derby Series season, but only Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) figures to have an impact on the final Top 20 leader board. The other race, the Lexington (G3), offers too few points to the winner (10) and is not projected to have any horse presently on the 'bubble.'

Juvenile champion Classic Empire (#21, 32 points) presently sits just outside the Top 20, but a fourth or better at Oaklawn should be enough to get him into the Derby field. Others hoping to improve their position on the board include Untrapped (#20, 34), Sonneteer (#26, 20), Petrov (#30, 13), Lookin At Lee (#31, 12), and Silver Dust (#42, 1), while Malagacy (#12, 50) is safely in regardless of his performance Saturday following his win in last month's Rebel (G2).

Gormley (#2, 125), Irap (#3, 113) and Irish War Cry (#4, 110) were the big point scorers last weekend with their respective victories in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Blue Grass (G2), and Wood Memorial (G2), with Irap the biggest surprise becoming the first maiden ever to win Keeneland's historic Derby prep.

McCraken (#15, 40) and Battle of Midway (#16, 40) more or less solidified their positions in the Derby lineup with respective placings in the Blue Grass and Santa Anita Derby. Slightly farther down the list, Battalion Runner (#18, 40) and Cloud Computing (#19, 40) also placed on Saturday, in the Wood Memorial, but might find themselves on the bubble if the result of the Arkansas Derby shakes out certain ways. The first-tie breaker among horses with an equal amount of points are non-restricted stakes earnings.

The Arkansas Derby and Lexington can be watched and wagered-on at

(Coady Photography)

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