The points scramble begins
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- This must be what Christmas morning looked like for the old woman who lived in a shoe. In the mad scramble for Kentucky Derby points, War Academy has traveled halfway across the country, Overanalyze has returned from the land of the forgotten, and Divine Ambition has overflowed into the Arkansas Derby from Keeneland. But there are no brightly wrapped gifts here, waiting and beckoning beneath any of the trees at Oaklawn Park, during the famed Racing Festival of the South. And anybody trying to grab the winner's share of the million-dollar jackpot or scoop up 100 Kentucky Derby points is going to have to outrun Oxbow on Saturday.At the penultimate minute Wednesday morning, as Oaklawn racing officials gathered in the grandstand before an anxious crowd for the drawing of post positions, Pat Pope, the track's racing secretary, received a telephone call. He already had spoken to the connections of Divine Ambition, and they had indicated that, no, they weren't going to enter their horse in the Arkansas Derby but would instead remain in Kentucky for Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. But now they changed their minds, or perhaps they only turned back their clocks to the central time zone.
In The Gate Podcast
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith rides highly-regarded War Academy in Saturday's Arkansas Derby. Gary West analyzes Arkansas & Blue Grass Stakes, plus a Barry Abrams commentary.
ARKANSAS DERBY MORNING LINE ODDS
THE TRIPLE CROWN
• 'Lucky' ends Triple Crown bid in Preakness
• Desormeaux defends Derby stretch ride
• Eskendereya retired; Jess Jackson buys in
• Eskendereya cruises in the Wood Memorial
• Drosselmeyer's feet seem OK after work
• Belmont: First Dude could be one to catch