McPeek considers Arkansas Derby for pair of recent winners

McPeek considers Arkansas Derby for pair of recent winners
Photo: Coady Photography

Add a pair of recent Oaklawn winners for trainer Kenny McPeek to the list of early probables for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Arkansas Derby on April 1.

McPeek said unbeaten Mendelssohns March and Interlock Empire will “probably” run next in the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby, which is Oaklawn’s fourth and final Kentucky Derby points race.

Click here for HRN rankings of Kentucky Derby 2023 contenders.

Mendelssohns March, who is 2-for-2, overcame traffic to clear his first allowance condition at 1 1/16 miles in his March 9 local and dirt debut. Interlock Empire, at odds of 17-1, broke his maiden by five lengths at one mile March 11 at Oaklawn.

“Mendelssohns March has been ultra-impressive in the morning and in the afternoon,” McPeek said. “Interlock Empire’s race the other day was a pleasant step forward for him. He was shot out of a cannon the last part there and I like that (jockey) David Cabrera was able to get him to relax and finish like he did. It’s a little ambitious, but it seems to me the Arkansas Derby’s pretty well wide open at this point. You only get so many shots. I think there’s 1.25 million reasons to try.”

The Arkansas Derby will offer 100-40-30-20-1- points to the top five finishers toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Derby.

Post positions for the Arkansas Derby will be drawn March 27.

2023 Arkansas Derby G1

Top Stories

The longest of the Kentucky Derby preps at the Pre...
Country Grammer goes for his second Grade 1 Dubai...
A Triple Crown nominee trained by Brad Cox is amon...
The Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby , which wi...
The Group 2 UAE Derby long has been an important r...