Cleveland - A few key horses will be competitive this weekend in the Arkansas Derby and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland trying to get some late graded earnings to their credit for a trip to Louisville in a few weeks.
In Arkansas Bodemeister and Secret Circle, both trained by Bob Baffert and morning line favorites, will contend in the $1 Million Arkansas Derby for the stakes purse and a spot in the winner's circle. Their main opponents Isn't He Clever, Nijjaar, Sabercat and Optimizer will be putting the pressure on these two as the competition is fierce in one of the most evenly matched prep races this spring.
In Kentucky, The Blue Grass Stakes has a 13 horse field contending for a purse of $750,000. Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen is the clear favorite with enough earnings to put him in the starting gates Derby day. I like Hansen to finish in the money along with Graham Motion's colt Howe Great.
Prospective, Dullahan, Ever So Lucky and Scatman will be versed in their efforts as closers in this deep field as Prospective and Dullahan already have enough earnings to be part of the Derby lineup.
Scatman must keep it together for a first or second place finish in this race for the potential to be considered a serious derby contender, but for Ever So Lucky and Howe Great ,who have lower earnings, a second place finish will not work here.
Post time for the Blue Grass Stakes will be at 6:18pm (ET) followed by the Arkansas Derby.