Can Anyone Beat Charlatan at Oaklawn?

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By Emily Shields

The 14-race card at Oaklawn Park on Saturday includes two divisions of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1), which will take place on the very day that was supposed to host the 2020 Kentucky Derby. With the Run for the Roses postponed, the two Arkansas Derbies will draw the eyes of the racing world.

Unbeaten Charlatan drew the rail. The Bob Baffert trainee is jumping into stakes competition for the first time after breaking his maiden February 16 by nearly six lengths, then winning a March 14 one-mile allowance by more than 10. This is 1 1/8-miles, and he will face nine rivals after the scratch of Shooters Shoot. Martin Garcia gets aboard for the first time as Drayden Van Dyke stays in California.

Gouverneur Morris is the main competition. Todd Pletcher trains the $600,000 son of Constitution, who was Grade 1 placed as a juvenile. He kicked off 2020 with a win in allowance company at Tampa Bay Downs, then ran fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. John Velazquez will be back aboard the gray colt.

Basin is on the outside. He was a Grade 1 winner at Saratoga last year, then was off from September 2 until March 14. He returned to be third in the Rebel Stakes (G2) behind two horses who are not in this race. He then ran fourth, beaten five lengths, in the Oaklawn Stakes here April 11. Steve Asmussen trains the son of Liam’s Map.

Anneau d’Or looks to get back on track here by taking the blinkers off. The son of Medaglia d’Oro ran second by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) after breaking his maiden by eight lengths on the grass. He then ran second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) by a neck, which meant he was sent favored in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds in his 2020 debut. Anneau d’Or ran ninth, well beaten, but looks to rebound here after a bullet work at Golden Gate Fields April 24. Blaine Wright trains. There are six stakes races at Oaklawn Park this weekend, and all will be available to watch and wager live with TVG.

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