If you missed the Arkansas Derby on Saturday, treat yourself to a replay immediately. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

2015 Arkansas Derby Replay

Bab Baffert’s star 3-year-old American Pharoah dazzled both his rivals and his fans. He left the gate with gusto, settled very nicely in 2nd behind runaway leader Bridget’s Big Luvy, and then transcended racing as we know it.

With jockey Victor Espinoza barely shaking the reins, American Pharoah gobbled up the gap separating him and the leader and took command as the field entered the stretch. Espinoza then pretty much called it a day as they passed the sixteenth pole. Pharoah galloped to the wire for a sweat-free 1:48.2, the 2nd best Arkansas Derby time since 2000.

This year’s final Derby preps seem almost staged, with one performance surpassing another. Staged or not, American Pharoah’s performance stands as a truly grand finalé to the 2015 road to the Derby.

Roger LeBlanc
April 29, 2015