Sunday, April 13, 2014
DANZA PULLS 40-1 SHOCKER IN ARKANSAS DERBY
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 12, 2014) – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Danza came in as the lesser heralded stablemate, but is leaving Oaklawn as the 78th winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and with a ticket to the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs after earning 100 points. The winner, sent off as the second highest odds on the board by the crowd of 63,186, returned $84.60, $28.40 and $11 at odds of 40-1.
Southwest Stakes winner and Rebel Stakes runner-up Tapiture was fourth and was followed by Conquest Titan, Commissioner, Thundergram and Strong Mandate.
"That was a pretty great effort,” said Bravo. “Todd (Pletcher, trainer) was pretty high on the horse and he told me this morning that he was going to be fresh so don' take anything away from him. Try to save as much as you can and let him run his race. It was textbook, just textbook. Everything unfolded like a dream. That was pretty cool down the lane. It's really fun to have a special horse like that and have him run like that. I'm not a fortune teller, but hopefully, in a couple of weeks we can do that again. I'm crossing my fingers he's my Derby horse.”
“We were searching for the right race and the right option and it seemed like the Arkansas Derby was the race for us to step out and take our shot,” said Pletcher, who was winning his second straight and record fourth overall Arkansas Derby. “We’re certainly very excited that we did and very proud of the way the horse ran today.”
Pletcher won the 2013 edition with Overanalyze. His other two runners were Balto Star (2001) and Graeme Hall (2000).
Danza, a Street Boss colt, improved his record to two wins in four starts and the $600,000 first prize increased his bankroll to $666,428.
Saturday was closing day of the 2014 race meet.
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