Charlotte - Saturday Oaklawn Park will host the 80th running of the Arkansas Derby. It is part of a 12-race closing day program.
Last month Whitmore broke well and took to the lead in the stretch of the Rebel Stakes only to be caught by the Baffert trained Cupid. Cupid had more to give that day and could be Baffert's signature horse to assist him in winning back to back Kentucky Derby's and his fifth overall. Trainer Bob Baffert won the Arkansas Derby last year with Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah. Morning line odds has Cupid listed as the favorite who in his last start on March 19 went 1-1/16 miles in 1:43:84 in the Rebel Stakes.
Suddenbreakingnews and Whitmore finished in the top two spots on February 15 in the Southwest Stakes. Both runners had their final works completed on Saturday.
Other contenders to watch for: Creator, had a good work on a sloppy track Monday going a half-mile in :50:40 from the direction of trainer Steve Asmussen.
American Pioneer put in a 7 furlong work in 1:28:40 Friday on a fast track.
Discreetness came home a winner on the Oaklawn track in the $150,000 Smarty Jones on January 18, 2016.
Dazzling Gem had a third place finish last month at Fair Grounds in the $1 Million Louisiana Derby.
Trainer Todd Pletcher who has four Arkansas Derby's to his credit will send Gettysburg with jockey Johnny Velazquez.
Unbridled Outlaw will come from post 6 and finished second in his last race at Oaklawn on March 19th.
Yesterday, racetrack officials conducted the derby draw for post positions in the 12 horse field, as follows:
1. Discreetness (122) Court/Fires 20-1
2. Cutacorner (118) Birzer/Van Berg 50-1
3. Creator (118) Santana Jr./Asmussen 10-1
4. Suddenbreakingnews (122) Quinonez/Von Hemel 5-1
5. American Pioneer (118) Bejarano/Catalano 8-1
6. Unbridled Outlaw (118) Lanerie/Romans 10-1
7. Dazzling Gem (118) Talamo/Cox 12-1
8. Whitmore (118) Ortiz Jr./Moquett 9-2
9. Luna de Loco (118) Bravo/Asmussen 30-1
10. Cupid (122) Garcia/Baffert 2-1
11. Gray Sky (118) Vazquez/Lukas 30-1
12. Gettysburg (118) Velazquez/Pletcher 6-1
The winner of this race will claim 100 points and a guaranteed spot in the Kentucky Derby.