Magnum Moon Heads Back to Florida After Arkansas Derby

Paola Ditto
Aprile 16, 2018

Magnum Moon emerged victorious Saturday in the 2018 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. So the three-year-old colt should be at Churchill Downs on May 5 for the Run for the Roses.

"I thought he finished with good energy and was pulling away from some nice horses", Pletcher said by phone. It was the fourth win in four tries for the $380,000 Keeneland September graduate, who heads to Churchill Downs as one of two undefeated GI Kentucky Derby hopefuls along with fellow "Rising Star" Justify (Scat Daddy).

Owned by Robert and Lawana Low of Springfield, Mo., Magnum Moon set the pace and pulled away to a four-length victory over Quip to remain unbeaten in four starts. "He's won a number of different ways now and I think he's proven that he's the kind of horse that doesn't need the race to unfold a certain way, that he's able to make his own kind of race".

Magnum Moon has won the 82nd running of the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and placed himself as a big contender for the 144th Kentucky Derby on May 5.

"Get ready Kentucky, there's a bad moon on the rise!" said Oaklawn track announcer Vic Stauffer when Magnum Moon crossed the finish line in the $1,000,000 race. "I let my horse settle and he did very nicely". Jockey Luis Saez said it wasn't necessarily the plan to go the lead, but his mount took him there when he broke sharply out of post-position six and outfought Quip for the advantage going into the first turn. I am just going to stay there and he was very comfortable into the turn.

Magnum Moon paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.40. "He ran hard. Good effort and we'll see what happens". When I came to the stretch I felt like he was looking at the gate marks so when we got there I touched him a little and he went. Combatant and Solomini tried to join the fight with three- and four-wide moves, respectively, but Magnum Moon made all those challenges futile ones as he reached the stretch.

Magnum Moon's time in the 1 and 1/8 mile race was 1:49.86.

Third finisher Solomini (Curlin) will go in the Derby, according to Zayat Stables' racing and stallion manager Justin Zayat. "But, Luis (Saez) gave him a masterful ride".

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