News and STORIES
Plans For Arkansas Derby Runners Ahead Of The Kentucky Derby
Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Tuesday April 13, 2021
The biggest race in the United States this past weekend saw the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby take place at Oaklawn Park. All the attention was on Concert Tour ahead of the race, as many expected the trip to be a full-gone conclusion that the three-year-old would romp home to re-emerge as the heavy favorite to win the Kentucky Derby in less than a month.
However, horse racing is much more complex than that. Concert Tour struggled down the final stretch and could only finish third, while Super Stock was the commanding winner. But what are the plans for some of the leading horses that were involved over the weekend?
Super Stock Heading To Kentucky
The win for Super Stock at Oaklawn may have been a shock for many, but trainer Steven Asmussen always had high hopes for the three-year-old. He finished two and a half lengths clear of Caddo River, who finished just ahead of the unbeaten Concert Tour on the line. Asmussen revealed earlier in the week that Super Stock will now head to Kentucky and join his team that are preparing for the massive weekend of racing at the beginning of May. The story behind Super Stock’s rise to Grade 1 glory is a heartwarming one, as he was brought by Steve Asmussen’s father and was ridden on his first three starts by his son, Keith Asmussen.
Sometimes in racing, the stories are more important to consider than other aspects, as there could be a factor of destiny centering around the runner. That could be the case for Asmussen with this horse, as the trainer looks for a first win in the Kentucky Derby. He has saddled up runners on 21 occasions in the past, but none have crossed the line first. On the form that he showed at Oaklawn, he could be a leading contender, but it’s also important to consider that the Arkansas Derby was one the second success that he has achieved.
He finished way back in fourth behind Concert Tour in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, but the Arkansas Derby success was a perfect prep. Asmussen has trained the winner of the Arkansas Derby on four previous occasions before Saturday, but it would be hard to argue that any of those successes met the feeling of pride he would have got from the win last weekend.
Road To Kentucky Derby Leaderboard After The Arkansas Derby
Super Stock’s win gave him a massive 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. That has seen him rise up to third in the overall standings with 109 points. Only Hot Rod Charlie and Essential Quality are now positioned ahead of him. Essential Quality is at the top of the leaderboard with 140 points, while Hot Rod Charlie is just one clear of Super Stock with 110 points.
The first four home in the Arkansas Derby picked up points, with 170 points in total up for grabs. Second-placed Caddo River picked up 40 points. The Brad Cox-trained horse is now 13th on the leaderboard with 50 points. He has the same number of points as Highly Motivated and Helium. Concert Tour was still able to pick up 20 points from the Arkansas Derby, as Bob Baffert targets a record-breaking seventh Kentucky Derby success.
The three-year-old is in ninth on the leaderboard, but Baffert refused to be drawn into whether the Kentucky Derby will be the next stop for Concert Tour, as he admitted that they would assess his condition before making a final decision. Get Her Number finished in fourth at Oaklawn and picked up ten points. That means that the Peter Miller-trained horse has 20 points overall and sits in 26th on the leaderboard.