MUTH (Good Magic – Hoppa by Uncle Mo), owned by Zedan Racing and trained by Bob Baffert, put away Timberlake and won the $1.5 million Arkansas Derby by two lengths over Just Steel, trained by D. Wayne Lukas.

Southwest Stakes winner (G3) winner Mystik Dan was 4 1/4 lengths back in third with even-money favorite Timberlake in fourth and long shot Informed Patriot in fifth.

The Arkansas Derby was worth 100 points toward eligibility in the Kentucky Derby, but this is the third straight year horses trained by Baffert have been banned by Churchill Downs. His suspension followed Medina Spirit’s disqualification from his 2021 Kentucky Derby victory for a post-race positive for betamethasone.

“He got away and then he was in a good spot,” said Baffert. “The track – speed really wasn’t playing well today – but he was in a good spot there. Down the backside, when I saw Timberlake sneak up in there, I thought maybe he was going to control the race from there because I figured he was the horse to beat. But Muth, he’s just … the only horse that beat him was Fierceness and we saw what he did today. It’s a very prestigious race, winning that. You know how we feel about Oaklawn.”

Muth was a $2 million Ocala March 2-year-old in training purchase last year and previously a $190,000 yearling buy from Keeneland September. He was bred by Don Alberto Corporation, who raced the colt’s dam Hoppa. Hoppa won one of three races and is just one of two foals for Muth’s second dam, Handoverthecatm a 2-time winner.

This is Hoppa’s first foal.

Jockey Juan Hernandez on Muth: “I had a really nice trip. My horse broke good. He’s good out of the gate. He’s fast. My plan was to keep him a little wide, keep him by himself, because sometimes when he gets close to other horses, he gets really aggressive. Sometimes, he wants to run too early. I broke good and then I stayed outside. He relaxed really good. I saw a couple of horses inside trying to get the lead. I said: ‘OK, go ahead.’ My horse was really comfortable on the backside…. Around the three-eighths, I asked him to pick it up and he responded. And then around the quarter pole, I asked him for everything that he had and he showed that he has a lot of talent. He just took off again.”

Trainer Wayne Lukas on Just Steel: “We’re excited, but it’s disappointing there won’t be Bob. He’s got great horses. He’s got Derby horses, but he’s going through a lot of things right now that shouldn’t be happening. But we can’t change that. I was confident about my horse. I was telling someone else, when there’s a little bit of brilliance in there, when you see it, you can dig in there and get it. If they don’t have that brilliance, then you’re just in la la land bringing these horses over and hoping, but he’s got some in him and now we just have to see if we can get it out of him.”

Kenny McPeek on Mystik Dan: “He got beat up a little bit in the first turn by the 5 horse (Liberal Arts). But look, third is a respectable run. I really expected him to win, but these things aren’t easy.”

Brian Hernandez, Jr. on Mystik Dan: “We went around the first turn and got knocked pretty good by (Liberal Arts). It was pretty hard and kind of cost us some position. But our horse, you’ve got to be proud of him. He ran on nicely and picking up third was big.”

Flavien Prat on Timberlake: “We were in a good spot and into the first turn, they were slowing down quite a bit. He got very aggressive with me, so I kind of let him run to get him to settle down, which he did down the backside. Just a little empty at the end.”



(Blue Grass and Santa Anita Derby are on April 6)

1. Fierceness, 136 Repole Stable (Mike Repole) Todd Pletcher $1,646,100
2. Catching Freedom, 125 Albaugh Family Stables LLC (Dennis Albaugh) Brad Cox $802,000
3. Forever Young (JPN), 100 Susumu Fujita Yoshito Yahagi $1,769,919
4. Endlessly, 100 Amerman Racing LLC Michael McCarthy $658,000
5. Timberlake, 81 WinStar Farm LLC (Kenny Trout) Brad Cox $1,132,500

6. Track Phantom, 70 L and N Racing LLC (Lee Levinson), Clark O. Brewster, Jerry Caroom & Breeze Easy LLC (Mike Hall) Steve Asmussen $300,000
7. West Saratoga, 67 Harry L. Veruchi Larry Demeritte $363,640
8. Just Steel, 65 BC Stables LLC (John Bellinger & Brian Coelho) Wayne Lukas $628,295
9. Honor Marie, 65 Ribble Farms LLC (Alan Ribble), Michael H. Eiserman, Earl I. Silver, Kenneth E. Fishbein & Whit Beckman $448,455
10. Dornoch, 60 West Paces Racing LLC (Larry Connolly), R. A. Hill Stable (Raymond A. Hill III), Belmar Racing and Breeding LLC (Vito Cucci), Two Eight Racing LLC (Jayson Werth) & Pine Racing Stables (Mark Pine) Danny Gargan $425,500

11. Domestic Product, 60 Klaravich Stables Inc. (Seth Klarman) Chad Brown $260,500
12. Sierra Leone, 55 Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg,
Brook T. Smith & Peter Brant Chad Brown $290,000
13. Catalytic, 50 Tami Bobo, Julie Davies & George G. Isaacs Saffie Joseph Jr. $186,000
14. Deterministic, 50 St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola), Ken Langone, C. Steven Duncker, & Vicarage Stable Christophe Clement $165,000
15. Mystik Dan, 46 Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC (Brent Gasaway) & Daniel Hamby III Kenny McPeek $550,050

16. No More Time, 45 Morplay Racing LLC (Rich Mendez) Jose D’Angelo $194,380
17. Grand Mo the First, 40 Granpollo Stables LLC Victor Barboza Jr. $164,250
18. Common Defense, 37 David A. Bernsen, Tony Holmes, Michael Holmes & Norevale
Farm (Leo and Sarah Dooley) Kenny McPeek $253,450
19. Hades, 30 D. J. Stable LLC (Leonard Green) & Robert Cotran Joe Orseno $189,800
20. T O Password (JPN), Japan RTKD Invite Tomoya Ozasa Daisuke Takayanagi $120,474
Note: Fukuryu winner T O Password (JPN) has been extended an invitation to compete in the Kentucky Derby for accruing 40 points in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby series.

21. El Grande O, 30 Barry K. Schwartz Linda Rice $151,000
22. Seize the Grey, 27 MyRacehorse (Michael Behrens) Wayne Lukas $100,663
23. Stronghold, 25 Eric M. & Sharon Waller Phil D’Amato $292,800
24. $-Le Dom Bro, 25 Vicente Stella Stables LLC Eniel Cordero $131,000
25. Pandagate, 25 Adelphi Racing Club, Madaket Stables LLC, Corms Racing Stable & On The Rise
Christophe Clement $100,206
26. Tuscan Gold, 25 William H. Lawrence, Walmac Farm & Stonestreet Stables LLC Chad Brown $100,000
27. Just a Touch, 25 Qatar Racing (Sheikh Fahad Al Thani), Resolute Racing & Marc
Detampel Brad



(14 can start)

1. Tarifa, 150 $420,000 $518,925
2. Power Squeeze, Keeneland Sales Graduate 120 $300,870 $337,450
3. Thorpedo Anna, 105 $471,800 $584,363
4. West Omaha, 90 $276,250 $369,250
5. Jody’s Pride, 65 $532,500 $590,250
6. Fiona’s Magic, 60 $166,010 $253,410
7. Tapit Jenallie, 54 $216,725 $236,819
8. Everland, 54 $185,050 $237,143
9. Lemon Muffin, Keeneland Sales Graduate 50 $228,750 $324,000
10. Into Champagne, Keeneland Sales Graduate 50 $124,360 $193,960
11. Ways and Means, 50 $108,000 $165,750
12. Our Pretty Woman, Keeneland Sales Graduate 50 $80,000 $150,200
13. V V’s Dream, Keeneland Sales Graduate 48 $410,105 $479,105
14. Intricate, Keeneland Sales Graduate 45 $308,455 $370,180

15. Gin Gin, 41 $130,708 $206,508
16. Just F Y I, 40 $1,260,000 $1,317,750
17. Alpine Princess, Keeneland Sales Graduate 35 $108,500 $251,810
18. Recharge, 30 $174,750 $215,748
30. Liberal Arts, 19 Stephen Ferraro & Evan Ferraro Robert Medina $257,825
31. Mc Vay, 19 C R K Stable LLC (Lee Searing) John Shirreffs $48,000