Grade 2 Rebel Stakes winner Magnum Moon was installed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in Oaklawn Park’s April 14 Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, the last qualifying points race for the 144th edition of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 5.
Machismo, who was a badly-beaten 12th of 14 runners in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 7, was entered in the Arkansas Derby in a final attempt to earn a chance to run for the roses.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux told a national teleconference audience on April 10 that Grade 2 Louisiana Derby show finisher My Boy Jack will need to win Keeneland’s April 14 Grade 3 Lexington Stakes decisively to continue on to the Kentucky Derby.
Gronkwoski, who is named after New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and earned a berth in the Kentucky Derby by winning the new European series of qualifying races, will ship to the U.S. a week before the first Saturday in May and should clear quarantine in time to train over the Churchill Downs track the Tuesday of race week.
Five Kentucky Derby contenders are now stabled on the Churchill Downs backstretch: Bravazo (trainer D. Wayne Lukas, barn 44); Flameaway (Mark Casse, barn 36); Free Drop Billy (Dale Romans, barn 4); Lone Sailor (Tom Amoss, barn 29); and Promises Fulfilled (Romans, barn 4).
Amoss confirmed that James Graham, who rode Lone Sailor to a second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, will have the repeat call in the Kentucky Derby.