Concert Tour fired a salvo when recording a 4 1/4-length victory in the Rebel S. (G2) in mid-March, and the unbeaten colt will look to confirm himself as a top Kentucky Derby contender in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
After a pair of sprint wins, Concert Tour impressed when stretching out to two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel. By 2007 Kentucky Derby Street Sense, the bay colt is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, a three-time winner of the Arkansas Derby, and Concert Tour will face five opponents on Saturday.
Joel Rosario will be in to ride the favorite.
A major qualifier for the Kentucky Derby, the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby will award points on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the top four finishers.
Baffert will also send out Hozier, who rallied to be a non-threatening second when making his stakes debut in the Rebel. A convincing maiden winner in his second start, the Pioneerof the Nile colt is a candidate to keep advancing off of the encouraging performance last time, and Martin Garcia retains the assignment.
Caddo River will try to rebound after weakening to fifth as the Rebel favorite. A 10-length, wire-to-wire winner of the Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park two back, the Hard Spun colt conceded the early advantage to Concert Tour in the Rebel, electing to track the pacesetter in second.
Look for change in tactics from trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux. Caddo River is drawn inside Concert Tour in post 2, and the dark bay likely will be sent straight to the front at the break.
Grade 1 juvenile winner Get Her Number never fired when returning from a near six-month layoff in the Rebel, winding up seventh, but the Peter Miller-trained colt is eligible to show more in the second start back. Francisco Arrieta picks up the mount.
Super Stock placed in his final three stakes appearances as a juvenile, including a pair of Kentucky Derby qualifiers, and the Steve Asmussen trainee will try to improve upon a fourth in the Rebel in his sophomore opener. Maiden winner Last Samurai, fifth when returning from a four-month hiatus in the Rebel, completes the field.