We’re a day away from the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. It may not be the Kentucky Derby, but at least we have a big race on the agenda May 2. The first Saturday in May will pass without the Kentucky Derby for the first time since 1945. Covid-19 is putting an end to several traditions in 2020, but we hope to see the Derby at Churchill Downs on Labor Day Weekend. The postponement has also meant that races in the Road to the Kentucky Derby have been rescheduled. It made sense to put a big race on May 2. Despite having to wait for the Kentucky Derby, we’ll still have something to look forward to.
Along with the Arkansas Derby, there is a virtual Kentucky Derby being run on Saturday. If you’ve never watched the infamous Secretariat race before, you’ll have that opportunity tomorrow, in virtual form that is. Secretariat will be pitted against many more of the most highly regarded race horses ever to grace the track. There will be 13 Triple Crown winners featured in the virtual event, which will be broadcasted on NBC. In the meantime, there’s still a race day at Oaklawn Park on Friday to get to. Get our free Oaklawn Park selections for May 1, 2020 below.
Post Time: 4:06 p.m. CST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
We’ll start with Race 7 at Oaklawn Park on Friday. 11 horses are scheduled for the event, with a monster $165,000 purse offered. Heritage Park and Destiny Way are the big underdogs of the race. Destiny Way has a win in 2 of 4 starts in her career. Not bad at all, but struggled mightily when pressed into duty against top competition in her last outing.
She got drilled, finishing 9th in the Nodouble Breeders’ Stake on March 28. Heritage Park has had the same story, finishing 1st to two starts ago in a rather easy outing, and then clueless in that same race to finish 8th just barely ahead of Destiny Way.
K J’s Nobility and Hamazing Vision are both likely going to have bold bids in Race 7. Robertino Diodoro always seems to have a say in races whenever he has a trainee entered into an event. Hamazing Vision will get the call for Diodoro’s barn on Friday.
Hamazing Vision enters looking for the hat-trick after wins on February 16 and March 19. He got the win by 3 ½ lengths over C H Jay in February, and then followed it up with another dominant performance in March. Hamazing Vision came on late with a bold push in the homestretch to win by a length over Promising Shoes.
K J’s Nobility is going to press Hamazing Vision in this race. He will be going for the hat-trick as well, following wins on February 22 and March 28. K J’s Nobility is coming off an easy 3 length win in the Nodouble Breeders’ Stake, the same race that Destiny Way and Heritage Park did horribly in. K J’s Nobility also won in February by 3 lengths over Bandit Point.
Started off stalking the field in both events and then exploded to clear the field on the homestretch. Including those two wins, K J’s Nobility is a winner in 3 of his last 4 races and has shown in 8 straight, which includes a total of 4 wins. In all, K J’s Nobility has won 9 of 27 races. Look for him to have the extra gear down the stretch to bypass his competition in Race 7 on Friday at Oaklawn Park.
Post Time: 4:38 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
$80,000 will be on the line in Race 8 at Oaklawn Park. If you like sprinkling a bit of money on long shots, this one is going to be for you. There are four horses in this event with odds of +3000 or more on the morning lines. Including those four participants, there are three more with odds of +1000 or more. Good luck if you’re going for the big longshot. If one of them does win, they’re going to have to make it past a Bob Baffert trainee. Baffert had a horse entered yesterday, but ultimately got scratched. He will have Charlatan in the Arkansas Derby tomorrow.
Before the Arkansas Derby, Baffert will send out Gingham on Friday. Gingham has a solid chance of emerging with the win in this one. She isn’t Charlatan or Authentic by far, but Gingham is a solid race horse. In 7 career races, Gingham is a winner in 2 events and continues to get stronger. She captured a win on January 3 by ¾ lengths on January 3 at Santa Anita Park with Drayden Van Dyke on board. It’s typical that Van Dyke is piloting a Baffert horse at Santa Anita. Gingham followed it up with another solid performance, but came up just short to place on February 8.
Note that Gingham has placed in 6 of 7 career races. If she didn’t win, Gingham was right at the front competing coming up just short. Daphne Moon will likely be a contender here, but has only won against weak competition. She won in her debut on August 4, 2019 and then her last event on March 29 by ¾ lengths over Jilted Bride. However, between those two wins, Daphne Moon had nothing to show for outings in the Frizette Stakes and Demoiselle Stakes for 5th and 8th. Stakes racing isn’t exactly her forte, and should do better here, but it’s likely not going to be an easy win today with Gingham in the field. I think Baffert’s Gingham can get it done on Friday.