Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, currently the leader in
North America in money earned, is sending three horses from his
powerhouse stable for the final
day of the Racing Festival of the South April 12.
“Commissioner will go in the Arkansas Derby and Revolutionary and Golden Lad will run in the Oaklawn Handicap,” he said.
who won back-to-back runnings of the Arkansas Derby in 2000-2001 and
again last year when Overanalyze pulled the mild upset, will try for his
fourth victory when
Commissioner invades from Pletcher’s South Florida division for the $1
Arkansas Derby is one of the two final major Kentucky Derby qualifying
races and there are 170 points- 100-40-20-10 for finishing first through
fourth- at stake.
a beautifully-bred son of A.P. Indy, is lightly raced with just five
starts in his young career and has earned $189,000 from two wins, one
second and one third.
He currently has 10 points and stands in 30th place for one
of the 20 Derby berths, so he’ll need to finish among the top three to
have any chance of being at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in
comes into the Arkansas Derby after a third place finish in the Sunland
Park Derby (G3), where he did not get a clean break and raced four-wide
into the turn. But, he has
proven he can handle the 1 1/8 miles distance of the Arkansas Derby
when breaking his maiden at Saratoga Race Course last August.
will be looking for his second Oaklawn Handicap victory after taking
the 2007 edition with Lawyer Ron and has two top chances to do it.
who has earned $1,047,600 from four wins, one second and three thirds
in 10 tries, had a tough trip last out when seventh in the Donn Handicap
(G1) at Gulfstream
when competing against Will Take Charge, who was a fast-closing second
that day. The 4-year-old son of War Pass will again face the
locally-based champion 3-year-old, who is trained by Pletcher’s mentor
D. Wayne Lukas, in the Oaklawn Handicap. Golden Lad,
a 4-year-old Robsham Stable homebred, is undefeated in two starts this
year. In his last race, he successfully jumped up from the allowance
ranks with his 6 ¾ lengths victory in Oaklawn’s Razorback Handicap (G3)
Pletcher’s horses will all get new riders in their races.
“Mike Smith will ride Commissioner and Revolutionary, and Gary Stevens will be on Golden Lad,” said Pletcher.