04/14/2013 2:21PM

Kentucky Derby: Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze wastes no time getting to Churchill Downs

Tom Keyser
Overanalyze received an 88 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Arkansas Derby.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -  A day after winning the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby, Overanalyze was settled in at Churchill Downs to begin final preparations for next month’s Kentucky Derby. Rafael Bejarano, who rode the horse for the first time in the Arkansas Derby, will have the mount, trainer Todd Pletcher said on Sunday.

Overanalyze won his third graded stakes in the Arkansas Derby behind last year’s Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct and Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park. He settled off the pace Saturday, and put in a determined bid through the stretch to prove much the best. Overanalyze earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 88. He flew out of Oaklawn Park early Sunday.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“He came back really well,” Pletcher said. “He’s already arrived here at Churchill safely.

“We were delighted with his performance. We loved how he finished, loved the way he galloped out after the wire. I thought he ran a beautiful race. We were very pleased.”

Pletcher said Overanalyze’s prep schedule up to the Kentucky Derby is to be determined, with one work probable.

“We’re kind of thinking one, but we’ll play everything by ear,” he said.

Overanalyze has 110 points towards Kentucky Derby eligibility to rank fifth on the new system administered by Churchill Downs.

War Academy, the Arkansas Derby favorite who was pulled up approaching the final turn, emerged from the race with no obvious injury and is being sent to a Kentucky equine clinic for a full evaluation, his trainer, Bob Baffert, said on Sunday.

“We’ll give him a complete physical,” Baffert said.

“We checked him after the race and couldn’t find anything obvious. [Jockey] Mike [Smith] said he felt his hind end give out on him, he bobbled a couple of times, and he grabbed him. Better safe than sorry.”

Baffert also started Den’s Legacy, the third-place finisher in the Rebel, in the Arkansas Derby. The horse was vying for the lead in the stretch of the 1 1/8-mile race before being overtaken and finishing sixth.

“Den’s Legacy is coming back to California,” Baffert said. “I thought he’d run better than that. It looked like got tired in the stretch. It might be a little too far for him.”

Baffert said the horse’s next start is yet to be determined.

“We’re just going to bring him back here and see what’s going on,” he said.

Frac Daddy is headed to the Kentucky Derby following his second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby. He has 44 points, to rank 15th on the preference list. Trainer Ken McPeek said the horse is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on Monday. Frac Daddy rallied under Victor Lebron in a notable turnaround from his seventh-place finish in the Florida Derby. 

“Victor did a good job,” McPeek said. “The goal of the race was keep some dirt out of his face. I think he got frazzled in the Florida Derby when got hit with dirt in the face. He didn’t handle it real well, and I told Victor to keep him in the clear and he did a really good job.

“We’re leaning towards keeping Victor on him right now, but nothing’s set in stone.”

Frac Daddy has run two of the best races of his career at Churchill Downs. He was a nine-length maiden special weight winner at 1 1/16 miles Nov. 3, then came back and ran second by a neck in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

McPeek said Frac Daddy and Java’s War, the horse with whom he won the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on Saturday, could work in company for the Kentucky Derby seven days out from the race. The pair did so leading into their stakes starts on Saturday.

Carve, who finished a half-length behind Frac Daddy in third in the Arkansas Derby, is not Triple Crown nominated and as such is not a candidate for the Kentucky Derby. He is to now be based in Kentucky, with plans for his next start to be determined, said his trainer, Steve Asmussen.

“We were pleased with his run, and we’ll just try to find a good spot for him,” Asmussen said.

Carve was a $30,000 claim out of his winning debut in January by Mike Langford. Following the claim, he won a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn.

“Speaking with Mr. Langford, we thought he deserved a chance in the Arkansas Derby,” Asmussen said. “We were very pleased with his effort. Off changing racetracks, we’ll try to evaluate where he’s at and make plans.”

Plans for Falling Sky, who was fourth in the Arkansas Derby, are being determined. He was en route to Churchill Downs on Sunday afternoon with a start in the Kentucky Derby to be debated, said his trainer, John Terranova. The horse is 20th on the latest preference list, with 30 points.

“So far everything looks fine out of the race,” Terranova said Sunday. “He’s on his way back to Churchill Downs right now. We’ll just give it a few days, talk things over with the partners, and decide what the next move is.”

Falling Sky was traveling to Kentucky with Manuka Honey, the runner-up in the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn who will be considered for the Kentucky Oaks or Black-Eyed Susan, said Terranova.

Oxbow, who was fifth in the Arkansas Derby, was also shipping to Churchill Downs on Sunday. He is to make his next start in the Kentucky Derby, said his trainer, D. Wayne Lukas. Oxbow, who is 17th on the preference list with 36 points, trailed at one point in the Arkansas Derby before closing in the stretch Saturday.

“We just got a terrible trip, from the first turn all the way around,” Lukas said. “He ate a lot of dirt, was shuffled back. We’re drawing line through it.”

Texas Bling, a popular local who was eighth in the Arkansas Derby, emerged from the race in good order with plans for his next start to be determined, said his trainer, Danele Durham.

The Arkansas Derby closed out the meet at Oaklawn.