April 14, 2013
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 13, 2013) – Repole Stable’s Overanalyze, a top 2-year-old last year, who had fallen off the radar, jumped back into the Kentucky Derby picture with a dominating 4 ¼ length victory in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) before a crowd of 66,158. The victory earned him 100 points based on Churchill Downs’ criteria for making the 20-horse field and ranks him fifth among the hopefuls for the first Saturday in May.
“When (jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) got off him after the Gotham (when fifth as favorite March 2) he said he flattened out and probably needed the race,” said Mike Repole by phone. “Todd was going to run Verrazano in the Wood, so we decided to split the two horses up and come here. I wasn’t surprised that he won, but I was shocked at how easily he won.”
With jockey Rafael Bejarano subbing for the injured John Velazquez, Overanalzye was unhurried early and settled near the back of the pack as Divine Ambition lead the charge for an opening quarter mile in 23 1/5. Falling Sky took over before a half mile in 47 3/5, but could not sustain the bid. The winner stayed within striking distance down the backstretch and began his five-wide move late in the second turn before drawing away from runner-up Frac Daddy in the stretch. He completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 4/5 over fast track. Carve, who was racing from the one hole, encountered traffic but once clear, got up for third.
Overanalyze drifted slightly in the lane and trainer Kenny McPeek’s assistant, Phil Bauer, filed an objection on behalf of Frac Daddy, but it was not allowed by the stewards.
Falling Sky, Oxbow, Den’s Legacy, Divine Ambition, Texas Bling, and Heaven’s Runway completed the order of finish. War Academy, the 9-5 favorite, was pulled just after a half mile, but walked off -the track on his own.
“He was just very uncertain over the surface and I tried to get him to settle,” said jockey Mike Smith. “He was okay on the first turn, but then he took four or five really awkward steps. I didn’t see anything major causing it, but I just felt really awkward on him and figured it was better safe than sorry, so I pulled him up. I didn’t want to take any chances.”
With the Arkansas Derby win, trainer Todd Pletcher’s record-breaking third in Oaklawn’s signature race, Overanalzye brought his record to four wins from seven starts and has now earned $908,381. The Dixie Union colt is now among the four horses Pletcher has qualified for the Kentucky Derby. He also won the Louisiana Derby (G2) with Revolutionary, the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) with Verranzo and earlier on Saturday he finished second in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) with Palace Malice.
Overanalyze returned $9.40, $5.60 and $4.60 as the 7-2 third choice. Frac Daddy was nearly 24-1, resulting in an $195.40 exacta and the 22-1 Carve helped produce a $1,264.30 trifecta based on a $1 wager.
Saturday was the last day of Oaklawn’s 2013 live meet. The facility will remain open for gaming and simulcast racing. The 2014 Live Meet kicks off Jan. 10.