For the first time in 79 years the Kentucky Derby was not run on the first Saturday in May.
In 1945, a ban on horse racing due to World War II postponed the famed race until June. This year restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have forced the 146th edition of the race, sponsored by Woodford Reserve, to be postponed until Saturday, September 5.
So, while no one was trackside at Churchill Downs on Saturday all eyes were on the racing at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, where key Derby contenders were continuing their lead-up to September’s main event.
Five-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert prepared the winners of both Arkansas Derbys on Saturday – the $1 million 1 1/8-mile race was divided into two divisions and was run behind closed doors.
Charlatan won the Division I race, and Nadal won Division II race, both colts are undefeated in their respective careers and Nadal is the number one ranked horse of the Kentucky Derby contenders with 150 points.
Charlatan, ridden by Martin Garcia led all the way and won by an impressive six lengths in a time of 1:48.49 while Nadal, ridden by Joel Rosario won by three lengths in the faster time of 1.48.34 seconds.
"I thought both horses were going to run really well," Baffert told The Associated Press following the race.
"Charlatan, what a talent he is and how fast he is. Nadal, he's a tough horse. There's a lot to him and he's a cool customer, and I could see he's getting better and better."
Bred in Kentucky by Sierra Farm, Nadal is by 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame (Arch), who features in the Pedigree of Highview-based stallion Wrote.
Wrote’s fourth dam is the blue hen mare Special (Forli), in fact he carries a double up of Special being by High Chaparral.
Special produced nine foals to race all winners including champion sires Nureyev (Northern Dancer) and Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer) and Bound (Nijinsky) dam of Liable (Seeking the Gold), who is the dam of Blame and subsequently the 2010 USA Broodmare of the Year. What’s more, in addition to Blame, Liable produced five winners including Gonna, who is the dam of Wrote’s Stakes performed son High Providence.
Wrote is serving a limited book of 100 mares in 2020, contact Brent Gillovic to secure your mare a spot on 021 921 467