- 6-1 choice Super Stock has won the Arkansas Derby, earning a spot in the Kentucky Derby in the process.
- Super Stock was able to prevail from off the pace with Caddo River, Concert Tour and Get Her Number rounding out the top four.
- Concert Tour suffered his first career defeat as an overwhelming 1-5 favorite.
Super Stock came from off the pace for jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. to earn a victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and in the process secured a starting spot in next month’s Kentucky Derby. The 6-1 betting choice was coming off a fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes due in large part to a bad trip and midrace traffic problems. His only previous win came last August in the Texas Futurity at Lone Star Park.
A story that might overshadow Super Stock’s win is the first career loss for pre-race favorite Concert Tour. Concert Tour had done nothing but win since a victory in a maiden special weight race at Santa Anita in mid January. He followed that up with a victory in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita and the aforementioned Rebel Stakes victory at Oaklawn in March. The Bob Baffert trained colt had taken a huge amount of action prior to this race and went off as a 1-5 favorite.
Caddo River finished second in the 1 1/8 mile event just in front of third place Concert Tour with fourth place finishing Get Her Number another length back. All four top finishers earned Kentucky Derby qualification points with 100 going to Super Stock, 40 to Caddo River, 20 to Concert Tour and 10 to Get Her Number. Super Stock is now third in the Kentucky Derby qualification point standings with Concert Tour ninth and Caddo River 13th. The leader is currently Essential Quality, coming off a win in the Blue Grass Stakes.
Concert Tour has now gone from a presumptive Kentucky Derby morning line favorite to a horse that might not even run though that decision will be left up to Bob Baffert. Prior to the Arkansas Derby, many considered a Concert Tour victory over a ‘weak field’ a foregone conclusion. Some even questioned if he would be tested at all in winning. Here’s one pre-race blurb on Concert Tour that is typical of the pre-race mood:
CONCERT TOUR–Gets his final test in this weekend’s Arkansas Derby (G1), but, like the Florida Derby a couple weeks back, this Arkansas Derby came up historically weak. So, will be really be tested? He can only run against who is lined up against him, so it’s not his fault. If he is extended in this race, his Kentucky Derby stock may fall a bit. Still, he already has answered many questions that most others have not.
Concert Tour optically didn’t run poorly and was in a position to win the race late before coming up short after a speed duel with runner up Caddo River. The problem is that this is a race he was supposed to dominate and if you buy the assumption that this was a ‘historically weak’ field it doesn’t bode well for Concert Tour when he steps up in class. Then again, most trackside observers couldn’t discern any reason for Concert Tour’s lackluster showing. Barring injury or other issue, it might simply be that he ‘didn’t fire’ which could set him up for a bounceback performance on the first Sunday in May at Churchill Downs.