Four Takeaways from the Arkansas Derby

Omaha Beach turns back Improbable in the Arkansas Derby (G1) - Coady Photography The final prep race for the 2019 Kentucky Derby produced a thrilling finish, as Omaha Beach and Improbable battled to the wire in a strong renewal of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park. Wet weather may have produced a sloppy, sealed track, but it did little to dampen the quality of the race. There’s a lot to digest, but my primary takeaways [...]

Will Escape Clause Upset the Apple Blossom Handicap?

Midnight Bisou (far right) edging Elate (far left) in the Azeri Stakes - Coady Phototgraphy There are only six fillies and mares entered in Sunday’s $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park, but I’d argue that you won’t find a higher-quality field anywhere in the country this weekend. Five graded stakes winners, two grade 1 winners, and a two-time Canadian classic winner are among the entrants, which is why—despite what the tote board might try to tell [...]

Top Contenders Tough to Split in Arkansas Derby

Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography The tricky part of handicapping the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on Saturday at Oaklawn Park isn’t identifying the top contenders. That part is easy. The challenging aspect is splitting them, so your wagers will yield a reasonable return on investment. #1 Improbable, #3 Omaha Beach and #11 Long Range Toddy are the obvious favorites in this 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach (right) holds off Game Winner (left) in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography It’s been a big year for War Front on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The 17-year-old Claiborne Farm stallion has already made headlines as the sire of two-time graded stakes winner War of Will, and on Saturday, War Front was back in the spotlight again when his son Omaha Beach fought to a valiant victory in the second division of [...]

Omaha Beach Defeats Game Winner in Rebel Stakes Division 2

Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography It was a sight to behold—two top-class Kentucky Derby candidates flying to the finish line of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, leaving their rivals far, far behind while battling courageously to the wire. Both ran so gallantly, it was a shame there had to be a loser. But when they flashedacross the finish line, it was the up-and-coming Omaha Beach [...]

Long Range Toddy Catches Improbable in Rebel Stakes Division 1

Long Range Toddy winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography He was favored at 2-5 and ran a good race, but when the real running began in the first division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, the previously undefeated Improbable came up short of expectations and fell to defeat at the hands of Long Range Toddy. Granted, Improbable faced some adversity in the 8.5-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. The [...]

Improbable and Game Winner Look to Dominate in Separate Rebel Stakes Divisions

Improbable(Horsephotos.com) Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is after his sixth Kentucky Derby win, and two of his horses are shaping up to give him an outstanding shot at the garland of roses. Both Improbable and Game Winner are slated to race in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes, though they won’t have a chance to face one another. On Wednesday, it was announced the Kentucky Derby prep race would be the first to split off into two separate [...]