Bob Baffert never ships to Oaklawn to lose, and that is the case whether it is a stakes race like the Arkansas Derby, or a maiden race like this one. This field contains some horses who have run well, and some good-looking first starters from good connections, but this Baffert SoCal invader is the one to beat based on his solid runner-up finish (third via DQ) in the career debut at Santa Anita. Picks up Rosario and first-time Lasix today.
Race 12 – Arkansas Derby
#5 Concert Tour
plus exacta box with #3 Hozier
#5 Concert Tour is one of the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby in three weeks based on his quality win in Oaklawn's rich Rebel stakes last month, and he gets a break here that this year's Arkansas Derby has come up light with only 6 horses in the race. Trainer Bob Baffert owns these Oaklawn 3yo stakes races year after year, and Concert Tour looks a lot like his 2020 Arkansas Derby winner Nadal. Could face pace pressure, but owns the best speed figures and should get the job done in wire-to-wire fashion.
Play in exacta box with #3 Hozier, who should make it an all-Bob Baffert exacta in the Arkansas Derby based on his promising second-place finish behind Concert Tour last time out in the Rebel. Working out at Santa Anita like a horse that is rapidly improving. The only way Concert Tour gets beat in this race is if Caddo River sends up into a crazy speed duel, which actually is a real possibility. In that case, the most likely off-the-pace beneficiary of such a duel will be Hozier, and therefore, an exacta box is on order just in case a pace meltdown costs Concert Tour the race.
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