Apr 112019

Arkansas Juvenile—Derby Lock Prep


Grade 1, Restricted to 3 Year Olds

Distance: 9 Furlongs

Track Conditions: Fast Dirt

Purse: $1,500,000

Post Time: Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 3:00pm


I took a look this morning and did not see anyone that was going to be previewing and handicapping the Arkansas Juvenile so I immediate called and got a last minute ticket to fly from Louisville, KY to Little Rock, AR.  I did have to make the drive out of Little Rock to the track, but I managed to make it in plenty of time today to walk the barns and speak with some owners and jockeys.  Just an FYI, get here early if you are coming to the track as parking is always at a premium.  Running will be a full field of fourteen colts and geldings for the race, all of which are well decorated and throwing their names in the hat to collect that golden ticket to the Bluegrass Derby in May.  This is going to be a tough and rumble field that is very competitive and even the most experienced of handicappers will find it a surmountable task to find the winner in this field.  The odds makers have done due diligence in setting their morning line and the post positions have been drawn and set.  Let’s take a preview of this competitive field here in the Arkansas Juvenile—Derby Lock Prep as they prepare to go 9 furlongs across what will be listed as a Fast Dirt track.


Horse/Odds                                                       Owner                                  Jockey


1.  Hemp’s Dinero  9/1                                   boudin2                               A Jolly


This G2 winner will be smoking out of Gate #1 with A Jolly on top to take the mount on this Liam’s Map colt.  They have paired up once before successfully back in September of last year in California in the Sore Prospect Dirt Juvenile.  He is coming off a G3 win in Florida where on 03/10/2019 he got up to take The Buccaneer Derby with a nice speed number of 104.  He is looking to make it three wins in a row here in Arkansas.


2.  Dancers Cat  25/1                                       pecos197                             J Hernandez


This Graded Place winner found that honor a couple of times in his career thus far.  This colt sired by Dance In The Dark will be seeing J Hernandez take the ride with him for the first time as he flies in from the frigid temperatures in Ontario.  His last two outings have come to pass with disappointing results and he has shown some struggles of which the odds makers took note of today making him the long odds of this field.  He will have to see if he can put things back together here in Arkansas under a new rider to get his picture taken.


3.  Awesomely Saintly  8/1                          pasorobles                         G Skaggs


With ten career starts this colt sired by Ghostzapper has only found himself off the boards once.  Unfortunately that came in his last outing on 03/10/2019 in California in the G2, Felipe Alou Stakes at a distance of 8.5 furlongs.  He failed to fire and found himself way back in 8th place at the wire.  This horse has traveled the distance before as he proved in The Scam stakes back in February, where he closed for a nice win that day.  He grabs a familiar face to take the ride with him here in Arkansas and perhaps this will put him back on game.


4.  Help Your Brothers  8/1                          billzelite2                           W Kewmwa


Sired by Cupid this Stakes Winning colt found difficulty stepping up in Class in his last outing on 03/17/2019 in The Land’s End Stakes going 9 furlongs.  He was running just off the pace where he likes to be, but just could not hold position and faced to 9th and was 5 ¾ lengths back at the wire.  The odds makers did find favor with him today making him one of their three, second choices in this race.  His owner puts in a call to Arizona to contract with the top jockey at that track to come here to Arkansas to take the ride.  He will need to prove he can take another jump in Class to contend in this field.


5.  Before Time  11/1                                      5wide                                   Z Ayya


He had a nice showing his last time out on 03/10/2019 here in Arkansas in the G3, The Rebel Yell.  This Gilded Time colt showed up 3rd at the wire to put a GP badge in his hat.  He had a nice 102 speed rating in that race showing his best speed rating to date.  Z Ayya will be coming in from New York to take the mount for this owner to try and spark interest in getting his colt to contend for the wire.  Expect to see him closing fairly late.


6.  Land Boss  18/1                                           graywolf15                         M Staples


This colt sired by Street Boss out of HOF EOY winning mare Land Slam last ran on 03/23/2019 in the All Saints Derby Lock Prep in Louisiana where he failed to be a factor.  He has had much disappointment in his last five graded outings.  The triple digit speed numbers have eluded him and he seems to struggle going over two turns.  The odds makers have taken note and not shown much love making him one of the longer choices in the field.


7.  Reality Suicide  11/1                                 fairhaven6                          L Radzinski


This Arrogate colt only has one List Stakes win, but has a fairly impressive start to his career.  He has seven career starts and has only been off the boards once.  His last outing was on 03/09/2019 in the Sewing The Sun Dirt Route where he closed late per his usual style to get the wire 1st by a length over his contenders.  A familiar jockey for him in L Radzinski is back to take the ride up top this up and coming colt.  He will need to show he can contend at the Graded level as he attempts this for the first time and takes a big jump in Class.


8.  Invincible Emperor  6/1                           dixon                                    B Johnson


Drawing the keen eye of the morning line odds makers after a nice last outing on 03/17/2019 in Kentucky in The Land’s End Stakes he will get the nod as the favorite in this field.  He won the Land’s End when he closed to get up by 1 length.  The owner representing EWC residency makes a call to get B Johnson, a familiar jockey to his horse to take the ride with him here in Arkansas.  This G2 winner sired by I Am Invincible seems to like running in the middle of the pack and starts his close around the third call.  That is what I will be expecting to see.


9.  Again W A Classic  11/1                           derekcarlson                     T Ace


This GP Badge earner sired by Classic Empire was the runner up in The Buccaneer Derby back on 03/10/2019 where he showed much improvement and traveled a distance of 8.5 furlongs.  He puts out a plea to T Ace to make the short trip from Texas to take the mount on his contender here in Arkansas.  He has a top speed number of 102 and he will need to bring that forward along with a good trip here in Arkansas to show himself worthy to hit the boards for two in a row.


10. Confirmation Bias  10/1                         mtkg3offspring                 M Kelly


He won his last outing at the same distance of 9 furlongs when he ran in Virginia in the Warning Kingdome Dirt Route listed stakes on 03/03/20419.  He hit his top speed number of 102 in that race.  He seems to have no issues at this distance, but he has never run against Graded company in his eight prior starts.  He gets an unfamiliar jockey for the trip that will need to learn how he handles.  He likes running at or near the front in his best efforts.  Coming out of the tenth hole could possibly be an issue here for this Tapid sired colt.


11. Scottish Jazz  9/1                                       ruthless                               F Gossett


Our only gelding in the field today is sired by Maclean’s Music.  His last outing came on 03/03/2019 in New York going 8.5 furlongs in the G3, Gary Asher Memorial Stakes where he posted his best speed rating of 103. He won that race handily coming from way back to convincingly take the wire 1st by 2 ¼ lengths in a well decorated field to get some bling of his own.  He is looking sharp with F Gossett up top for the ride and deserves a look in this field.


12. Rizzen Knight  10/1                                  rac10                                     E C Doyle


This GP Badge earner is a scratch bred (Drosselmeyer x Cozzene x Easy Goer) who showed up a groomsman on 03/17/2019 in the G2, Land’s End in Kentucky just 1length back at the wire.  He must like weddings as he was also a groomsman placing second back in February in the Risen Star Stakes.  In each of his two lone Graded starts he has hit the triple digit mark.  He could be another horse in the field to be keeping your eye on.  He likes to close late from the middle of the pack, so watch for him there.  My concern here is can this lesser experienced jockey out of Ireland bring his horse to the winners circle against the more experienced jockeys in this field?


13. Channel Your Dream  11/1                    tfon32                                   N Lawton


This colt sired by Graydar showed up to hit the boards in the G1, Vermont Is 4 Lovers Stakes in Vermont back in February.  But he stumbled into disappointment in his last outing going the same distance in the G2, The Lands’s End in Kentucky where the best he could do was show up 12th way back at the wire.  Another jockey out of New York is contracted to fly in for the mount and will be an unfamiliar face for the ride.  He tends to run hot and cold and we will all just have to see the performance he shows up with here in Arkansas.


14. Gold Zone  8/1                                           spiderman1                        V Jennings


This G3 winning scratch bred by (Awesome Again x Storm Cat x Danzig) comes to the race with some nice performances to his credit at the Graded level.  His last outing was on 03/23/2019 in Louisiana going 8.5 furlongs in the G1, All Saints Derby Lock Prep where he found himself 4th in that race just missing the boards.  He grabs a familiar jockey here in Arkansas to ride with him in V Jennings of which they have been successful a couple of times together in the past.  He is one of the second choices in this race and deserves a look at the betting windows.



Good luck to all horses and all owners of this race.  Most importantly have fun!!!



Skippy’s Picks


1.  Invincible Emperor:  Looked good in his last race.  I will give him a chance to repeat here.


2.  Scottish Jazz:  An outside gate should not concern him and comes off two good last outings.


3.  Gold Zone:  I hate the gate for this entry, but I am going to give him a chance to prove he can overcome.



Tarton’s Long Shot


Reality Suicide at 11/1 will get the nod as my long shot for today.  He comes off his first listed stakes win and has shown the desire to improve.  I will put him on a few exotic tickets today.





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  7 Responses to “G1, Arkansas Juvenile–Derby Prep: Last chance for a field of 14 to grab that last Golden Ticket to the Bluegrass Derby in May.”

  1. Thanks for all the nice comments. Hope you enjoyed the preview. Also congratulations to AWESOMELY SAINTLY getting up for the win and him nailing down his spot in the Bluegrass Derby!

  2. Closest I have ever come to the Bluegrass Derby – with a Canadian-bred, no less. Thanks for the writeup.

  3. Solid job nask – cool touch with the jockey comments !

  4. Nice article, thx!

  5. Nice job Skip!

  6. Thanks so much….in a nutshell, now I have a bit of knowledge about this exciting field.
    Baggio Stables

  7. thanks