With a chance to compete in the 2013 Kentucky Derby on the line for some horses, trainers and jockeys, the 2013 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park surely didn't disappoint.
The race itself saw one favorite go down while a few other unlikely candidates finished near the top of the standings. In case you missed it, we're going to take a look at the race and highlight some of the biggest takeaways from Oaklawn.
Overanalyze is Legit
After a disappointing fifth-place finish in the season opener at Gotham Stakes, the legitimacy of both Overanalyze and his jockey Rafael Bejarano was in question.
That all flew out the window when Overanalyze blazed the competition, winning the $1 million race, and in the process, making trainer Todd Pletcher a three-time winner, according to Kurt Voigt of the AP (via U.S. News).
Punching a ticket to the Kentucky Derby, Bejarano and Overanalyze beat the competition by 4 1/4 lengths and earned $600,000 for the first-place finish at Oaklawn Park.
Oxbow—jockeyed by Gary Stevens and trained by D. Wayne Lukas—was thought by many to be a contender at the 2013 Arkansas Derby, but instead was an enormous flop.
While Oxbow did get off to a quick start out of the gate and made a run at Overanalyze down the stretch, it wasn't enough, as the horse placed fifth in the field of 10. Stevens kept his head high following the disappointing loss, tweeting:
According to ESPN, Oxbow is still in the top 20 in terms of points needed to race in the Kentucky Derby.
Falling Sky a Kentucky Derby Contender
Following a strong third-place finish at the Tampa Bay Derby, Falling Sky placed fourth at Oaklawn Park and qualified for the Kentucky Derby, according to the event's official Twitter account.
Jockeyed by Martin Garcia and trained by John Terranova, the duo may not necessarily be pleased with the finish in the Arkansas Derby, but they have to be pleased that their horse will be competing in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer