Two plays on Arkansas Derby undercard

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 15th, 2017

The $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) is the main event and Oaklawn concludes its 2017 meet with a 1 ¾-mile starter allowance that is listed in the program as “The Trail’s End.”

Untrapped is my pick in the Arkansas Derby and I will add Classic Empire to any multi-race wagers; the 2-year-old champ appears vulnerable in this spot but remains a threat to overpower rivals with his natural ability, registering a 108 BRIS Speed rating that towers over the field last November.

Here are a couple horses I will be playing on the Arkansas Derby undercard:

Race 6: Calvin Borel used to win races in groves at Oaklawn, with nearly 1,000 victories at the Hot Springs oval, but the Hall of Fame rider is in his sunset of his career and it’s been a slow 2017 meet with only 10 wins from 120 starts. #5 Arch Cat (5-1 morning line) was in tight from the start last time last time with Borel and wound up just missing in his second career start and two-turn debut. He receives a positive jock switch to Jon Court (16% win this meet), who retakes the mount for father-in-law Jinx Fires, and the 3yo Arch gelding came back to post a swift 5-furlong work in the interim. His BRIS numbers are strong and I’m expecting a better trip that results in Arch Cat’s graduation.

Race 8: Only seven have been assembled for the 1 1/16-mile Northern Spur and there appears to be plenty of pace present. #7 Total Tap is the 6-1 fifth choice on the morning line and I expect him to prove best in the latter stages. The Steve Asmussen trainee exits a fifth in the Sunland Derby (G3), a race I’m bullish on presently, and he posted in a nice entry-level allowance score two back. The Candy Ride colt won’t be too far back with his tactical speed and is eligible to mow down these foes in the stretch.

Late Pick 5

The Northern Spur kicks off the Late Pick 5 (Races 8-12) and I’ll take a swing at the wager, singling Total Tap and odds-on Midnight in Race 9, the Oaklawn H. (G2). I need five from Race 10, a starter allowance, and will use the aforementioned duo in the Arkansas Derby and “all” in the finale.

50-cent Pick 5 (starting in Race 8): 7 with 3 with 3,4,7,8,10 with 2,9 with all ($70)

Good luck!