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Apr 12, 2013

Baffert colt tops Arkansas Derby


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Lightly raced War Academy, from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, headlines a field of 10 3-year-olds for Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/8-mile race is a final steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

The Arkansas Derby is worth 170 points in the Kentucky Derby points system to determine the field for the Run for the Roses. The winner will be awarded 100 points.

Owned by Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith, War Academy is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will start from post 2, with Mike Smith in the saddle.

With just three starts under his belt, War Academy has two wins and a fourth for $70,800. The fourth-place finish came in the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

Joining the colt is stablemate Den's Legacy. Also trained by Baffert, the colt is 6-1 in the program and will be ridden by Robby Albarado from post 5. Baffert won last year's Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister.

The 5-2 second pick is Rebel Stakes runner-up Oxbow. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the colt will be ridden by Gary Stevens from the far outside post.

Oxbow, owned by Calumet Farm, lost the Rebel at Oaklawn by a head to Will Take Charge, another Lukas horse. Oxbow began 2013 by winning the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds and finished a close fourth in the Risen Star Stakes in New Orleans.

A half-brother to Game On Dude, Oxbow has earned $353,500 with two wins in eight starts.

The 4-1 third choice is Overanalyze from the Todd Pletcher barn. Owned by Mike Repole, the colt has drawn post 9 with jockey Rafael Bejarano.

Overanalyze has won half of his six career starts, with victories last year in the Belmont Futurity and Remsen Stakes. He's coming off a fifth behind Vyjack in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

The colt has banked $356,381.

"Overanalyze is feeling really good," said Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "He probably has been a little overshadowed by Verrazano and Revolutionary. This is his time to shine."

Here is the Arkansas Derby field from the rail out: Carve, Ricardo Santana Jr., 20-1; War Academy, Mike Smith, 2-1; Divine Ambition, James Graham, 20-1; Falling Sky, Martin Garcia, 10-1; Den's Legacy, Robby Albarado, 6-1; Heaven's Runway, Israel Ocampo, 30-1; Texas Bling, Calvin Borel, 20-1; Frac Daddy, Victor Lebron, 15-1; Overanalyze, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Oxbow, Gary Stevens, 5-2.

Post time for the Arkansas Derby is set for 6:28 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.

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