The $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on Saturday at Oaklawn Park is the final major points-qualifier for the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 1. A field of six has been entered for the 1 1/8-mile race that offers qualifying points of 100-40-20-10 the first four finishers. usracing.com is publishing profiles on the contenders in the days leading up to the race.
By Lynne Snierson
Super Stock will have to run a super race on Saturday to prove that he is a Kentucky Derby contender. Not only did he finish fourth in the Rebel (G2) on this track, but he was about seven lengths behind a geared down Concert Tour, who returns to Oaklawn Park and is the even-money favorite. Even worse, the trip notes described him as showing “mild interest” down the lane.
This colt has yet to live up to the promise he showed in his juvenile season. After finishing third in the Iroquois (G3), he was third again in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) behind none other than Essential Quality. He’ll be making his third start as a sophomore in the Arkansas Derby (G1) but is seeking his first win of the year. With only nine qualifying points and stuck in way back in 31st place on the Derby leaderboard, this is his last chance to make the field.
On the plus side, he is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who is tied with Todd Pletcher for most Arkansas Derby wins with five, and he will be ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr. Asmussen, 55, is the winningest trainer in the track’s history with more than 700 victories and this season is assured of tying Hall of Famer Henry Forrest’s record of 11 training titles. Santana, who is topping the standings again as well, is the track’s career leader in purses earned and is Oaklawn’s first to cross the $30 million threshold.
This colt, who was a $70,000 yearling purchase, holds a special place in the Asmussen barn. The first time Steve’s son Keith J Asmussen, who is named for granddad and co-owner Keith Asmussen, rode him they won the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park last August, and it was the young rider’s first stakes start and fourth career win. That race was also Super Stock’s only victory to date.
Post position: 1
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Owners: Ev Woolsey and Keith Asmussen
Derby qualifying points: 9 (31st)
Career record: 7-1-2-2
Career earnings: $204,762
Best Equibase speed figure: 95
Pedigree: Dialed In-Super Girlie, by Closing Argument
Running style: Versatile
Lynne Snierson, a former director of communications at Arlington Park and Rockingham Park, currently is a freelance writer and racing publicist. She covered thoroughbred racing as an award-winning sportswriter for newspapers In Boston, Miami, and St. Louis. She lives in New Hampshire. Secretariat remains her all-time favorite horse.