HOT SPRINGS, AR – The Racing Festival of the South continues today at Oaklawn Park, leading up to Saturday’s running of the $1M Arkansas Derby.
Other key races are Thursday’s $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, Friday’s Bachelor Stakes and $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap, along with Saturday’s Instant Racing Stakes, Northern Spur Stakes and the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap.
Some of the country’s best thoroughbreds will be on the track for the stakes action in these races.
Nine entries will run in the derby. Oaklawn officials say Southwest Stakes winner Tapiture drew post position 3 today and was made the 9-5 morning line favorite.
“I think in a distance of a mile and an eighth there’s enough of a run going into the first turn and it’s a field of 9… it’s no 14 which we could get, I don’t think the post positions are going to be a factor in this race. I think the best horse will win,” says Oaklawn announcer Frank Mirahmadi.
Here’s how the field stands from the rail out: Danza, Knock Em Flat, Tapiture, Ride On Curlin, Thundergram, Commissioner, Conquest Titan, Bayern and Strong Mandate.
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