Derby Leads Strong Oaklawn Weekend

The top day of racing at Oaklawn is upon us, and the feature of closing weekend is the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), a key prep on the road to the Triple Crown. Rebel S. (G2) second placer Oxbow has run a trio of fine graded races in succession and could be the best hope for D. Wayne Lukas to add to his Kentucky Derby total. The bay colt by Awesome Again has big speed, seems more than capable of handling this trip, and has been training bullets on this surface all meeting. He could be the one to beat in here.

Den’s Legacy was a good third in the Rebel S. (G2) most recently and always fires for conditioner Bob Baffert, who also has War Academy, who was a stylish allowance winner in just his third lifetime start last out. The well-bred colt appears to have a very bright future and seems to fit well in this spot. Overanalyze failed to live up to his short odds in his yearly debut in the Gotham S. (G3), but the son of Dixie Union had a tough trip while wide on that day and has every right to move forward in this spot.

Sam F. Davis S. (G3) winner Falling Sky was third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) last out and should be in the mix from the opening bell of this one. Stakes winner Texas Bling was an even fourth in the Rebel S. (G2) most recently and could be a longshot to use in this one on a track he’s proven on. Southwest S. (G3) third Heaven’s Runway and the Steve Asmussen-trained Carve, sixth in the Rebel in his stakes debut, are also likely for this test.

Also carded for Saturday is the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) and $100,000 Northern Spur S.

The Friday feature at Oaklawn is the $500,000 Apple Blossom H. (G1) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.