HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Magnum Moon has won the 82nd running of the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and placed himself as a major contender for the 144th Kentucky Derby on May 5.
The 4/5 favorite snagged 100 points on Saturday for The Run for The Roses, adding to the 50 points he had already grabbed in his second big victory at Oaklawn this season when he took The Rebel Stakes on March 17.
Wearing #6, the bay colt trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Luis Saez, set an easy pace out front early on and never gave up the lead. When his winning position was hotly contested on the far turn, Magnum Moon kept his strong pace, winning by four lengths. Second place finisher Quip hung with him all the way.
"Get ready Kentucky, there's a bad moon on the rise!," said Oaklawn track announcer Vic Stauffer when Magnum Moon crossed the finish line in the $1,000,000 race . Magnum Moon's time in the 1 and 1/8 mile race was 1:49.86.
In Oaklawn's other stakes races on Saturday, City of Light captured the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap and Whitmore won the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap.
Magnum Moon paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.40. The place horse Quip paid $4.40 and $3.40, and the show horse Solomini paid $2.60. Also rans: 9 - Combatant, 3 - Tenfold, 7 - Plainsman, 4 - Dream Baby Dream, 1 - Beautiful Shot, and 2 - Machismo.
"Magnum Moon will return back to Palm Beach Downs on Sunday per trainer Todd Pletcher, & "tentatively" fly to Churchill April 23. Will breeze once at CD - "probably" 8 days before Ky.," read a post Saturday night on Facebook.
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