41 to 1 long shot Danza found room on the rail on the far turn and rode it to a huge upset in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on Saturday. He easily won by 4 3/4 lengths to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby in three weeks. Ride on Curlin came on to finish second while the favorite, Bayern, finished in third place. Danza earned 100 points for his victory in the Arkansas Derby, Ride on Curlin earned 40 points and has 55 total points, Bayern earned 20 points, and Tapiture earned 10 points for finish in fourth place and has a total of 52 points. The top 20 point earners will start in the Kentucky Derby.
Danza paid $84.60 to win, $28.40 to place, and $11.00 to show. The rest of the payouts are below:
8 to 5 favorite Bayern went to the lead and set sensible fractions of 23.72 for the opening quarter and 47.71 for the opening half mile. Long shot Thundergram pressed Bayern throughout the opening six furlongs. Meanwhile, Danza bided his time on the rail with Strong Mandate behind the leaders. As the horses entered the stretch, Danza found an opening on the rail and exploded through it to take command and pull away from the field. Ride on Curlin came from the back of the field to get 2nd while Bayern faded to 3rd place. Tapiture was even paced throughout the race and finished 4th.
Danza ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.68. Danza was ridden by jockey Joe Bravo and trained by Todd Pletcher. The official order of finish was Danza, Ride on Curlin, Bayern, Tapiture, Conquest Titan, Commissioner, Thundergram, and Strong Mandate.