Cupid draws 10th, named early favorite for Arkansas Derby


The Associated Press

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Cupid drew the 10th post position and been named an early 2-1 favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby, which attracted a field of 12 horses.

The Bob Baffert-trained colt, winner of last month’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, is expected to be one of the top contenders at next month’s Kentucky Derby. Jockey Martin Garcia rode Cupid in the Rebel Stakes victory and will be on the 3-year-old on Saturday.

Cupid led nearly from wire to wire in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes, holding off Whitmore and Suddenbreakingnews, and he’s currently 11th in the Kentucky Derby qualifying standings with 50 points. American Pharoah, also trained by the Hall of Famer Baffert, won the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby last year on his way to the Triple Crown.

Whitmore, who finished second in both the Rebel Stakes and Southwest Stakes, drew the eighth position on Wednesday. The colt, trained and co-owned by Ron Moquett, opened at 9-2 and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Suddenbreakingnews, winner of the Southwest Stakes and ridden by Luis Quinonez, drew the fourth position and opened at 5-1. After winning the Southwest Stakes, the colt had a disappointing run in the Rebel Stakes after being caught up in traffic and finishing fifth.

Gettysburg opened at 6-1 after drawing the outside 12th position. The colt, ridden by John Velazquez, finished second to Collected at Sunland Park last month — impressing with a time of 1:48.9 in the 1 1/8th-mile race, the same distance as Saturday’s Arkansas Derby.

The field from the rail out, with riders and odds: Discreetness, Jon Court, 20-1; Cutacorner, Alex Birzer, 50-1, Creator, Ricardo Santana Jr., 10-1; Suddenbreakingnews, Luis Quinonez, 5-1; American Pioneer, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Unbridled Outlaw, Corey Lanerie, 10-1; Dazzling Gem, Joe Talamo, 12-1; Whitmore, Irad Ortiz Jr., 9-2; Luna de Loco, Joe Bravo, 30-1; Cupid, Martin Garcia, 2-1; Gray Sky, Ramon Vazquez, 30-1; Gettysburg, John Velazquez, 6-1.

The Associated Press

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