03/19/2009 11:00PM

Papa Clem arrives for Ark. Derby


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Papa Clem is the first shipper to arrive at Oaklawn Park for next month's Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby. He vanned up from Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Thursday, trainer Gary Stute said.

Papa Clem was second to Friesan Fire, a top candidate for the Kentucky Derby, in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby last Saturday. He also had been under consideration for a start in the Grade 2 Illinois Derby.

"We were debating between the two races, and it seemed a lot easier to get to Oaklawn Park," said Stute, who trains Papa Clem for Bo Hirsch.

Stute said Rafael Bejarano, who has the mount in the Arkansas Derby, also mentioned the race as an option to think about and that weighed into the decision to head to Oaklawn. Stute added that the upset of top Kentucky Derby candidate Old Fashioned in last weekend's Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn was another reason his camp decided to target the Arkansas Derby.

"And, I love Hot Springs," said Stute, who 20 years ago had a small stable based at Oaklawn.

Papa Clem could breeze here Monday or Tuesday, he said. The horse set the pace in the Louisiana Derby before being overtaken by Friesan Fire. He then held off a strong bid from Terrain to finish second, 7 1/4 lengths behind Friesan Fire.

"I thought he showed a lot of heart to hold on for second," Stute said.

Papa Clem had finished second to top Kentucky Derby candidate Pioneerof the Nile in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita one start prior to the Louisiana Derby. For his effort last weekend, he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

Stakes options for Everyday Heroes

Everyday Heroes, an undefeated 3-year-old son of Awesome Again who earned a 95 Beyer for a dominant first-level allowance win over older horses last week at Oaklawn, will be nominated to a pair of upcoming stakes at Aqueduct, the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore and the Grade 3, $150,000 Withers, trainer Tim Ritchey said.

The Bay Shore, at seven furlongs, will be run April 4, while the Withers, at a mile, is set for April 25. Ritchey said he also would make Everyday Heroes eligible for the $100,000 Northern Spur at a mile at Oaklawn on April 11.

Everyday Heroes has won both of his races at six furlongs. He is one of a handful of impressive 3-year-old winners Ritchey has had at the meet. Wise Kid, who won his maiden and an allowance here before finishing ninth as one of the top choices in last weekend's Grade 2 Rebel, came out of the race with a lung infection, Ritchey said.

He said decisions on next-race plans would be made after the lung infection clears up, but did not rule out a start in the Arkansas Derby. Another allowance winner this meet for Ritchey, Bon Jovi Girl, finished third in the Grade 3, $100,000 Honeybee for 3-year-old fillies here last weekend and remains on deck to make her next start in the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy on April 5, he said Friday.

* Blowing Kisses, who was a sharp allowance winner at Oaklawn on March 7, is a candidate for the $50,000 Carousel for fillies and mares at six furlongs here April 4, trainer Larry Jones said.