Derby probables on the scene

Updated: April 3, 2009, 8:32 PM ET
By Mary Rampellini | Daily Racing Form

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- There are eight early probables for the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, and all are on the grounds following the Thursday arrival of Danger to Society for trainer Rick Dutrow.

Old Fashioned, the winner of last year's Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct, has been based at Oaklawn for much of the meet. He won the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest here Feb. 16, then came back and ran second in the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel in his most recent start March 14. He is scheduled to work five furlongs Monday in his final prep for the Arkansas Derby.

"We're very pleased with the way he's coming into the race," said Larry Jones, who trains Old Fashioned.

Terry Thompson has the mount Saturday.

Win Willy, who upset the Rebel at 56-1, is scheduled to breeze five furlongs here Wednesday, said his trainer, Mac Robertson. He said the horse has done well since his big win, with Cliff Berry to be aboard for the move as well as for the Arkansas Derby.

Poltergeist, who was third in the Rebel, was to have his final work for the Arkansas Derby over the weekend and will be ridden in the derby by Quincy Hamilton, said trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

Papa Clem, who is based in Southern California, has been settled in at Oaklawn since mid-March. He vanned in from Fair Grounds, where he finished second to leading Kentucky Derby candidate Friesan Fire in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in his last start March 14.

"So far, everything seems perfect," said Gary Stute, who trains Papa Clem.

Stute said plans are to work Papa Clem five furlongs on Sunday, under Larry Sterling Jr. Rafael Bejarano has the mount for the Arkansas Derby.

Others that Oaklawn's stakes coordinator, Craig Lytel, considers probable for the race are Flying Private, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Lane's End last out for Oaklawn-based trainer D. Wayne Lukas; Flat Out, the winner of the $50,000 Smarty Jones here Jan. 19; and recent maiden winner Summer Bird.

Wise Kid is possible for the Arkansas Derby, said his trainer, Tim Ritchey. Others considered possible for the Arkansas Derby are Loch Dubh, Join in the Dance, and Ziegfeld.

Delayed start for Pure Clan

Pure Clan, who was tentatively scheduled to make her return to the races in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on May 2, probably won't be ready to run until closer to mid-May, said her trainer, Bob Holthus. She had her first work back on Wednesday, breezing three furlongs in 37.60 seconds.

"She galloped out in 49, was wanting to do more," said Holthus.

Pure Clan, who won last year's Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July, was freshened over the winter and resumed training this meet at Oaklawn. Holthus said she is scheduled to work back on Tuesday.

Hard Spun financed Just Jenda

Just Jenda, who will run here Sunday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy, is the first stakes winner owned by Cindy Jones, the wife and assistant to trainer Larry Jones. Larry Jones said it was the success of Hard Spun, a Grade 1 winner of $2.6 million whom he trained for Fox Hill Farm, that enabled him and his wife to go shopping for some quality young horses.

"Cindy has three of her own and has some more in partnerships," he said. "She's got at least five."

Just Jenda accounted for the Grade 3, $100,000 Honeybee here last month, and also has won stakes at Fair Grounds and Philadelphia Park.

* Don Grisham, a retired columnist for Daily Racing Form who is now part of the media relations staff at Oaklawn, will enter the Arkansas Walk of Fame on Monday.

* Euphony is scheduled to make her first start of the year Wednesday in the $100,000 Bayakoa, said her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.