Magnum Moon didn't race as a 2-year-old, but he's making up for lost time this year.
Magnum Moon, owned by Robert and Lawana Low of Springfield, bolted to the lead and pulled away for a four-length victory in the $1 million, Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in front of 64,500 fans at Oaklawn Park.
The bay-colored colt, which was the 4-5 favorite in a field of nine horses, is unbeaten in four races as it heads to the Kentucky Derby on May 5. With 150 points, he ranks No. 1 on the Kentucky Derby points list.
Magnum Moon will now face what is known as “The Curse of Apollo.” That refers to the fact that no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year-old. Apollo did so in 1888.
Ridden by Luis Saez, Magnum Moon covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.86. Second-place Quip finished second, and Solomini ended up third. Both of those horses are also in the top 20 of the Kentucky Derby points standings.
Magnum Moon and Quip battled for the early lead, with Magnum Moon setting the pace with fractions of 23.1 seconds for the quarter-mile, 48.3 seconds for the half-mile and 1:13.1 for three-quarters.
It was another prep victory for Todd Pletcher, Magnum Moon's trainer. Pletcher has also saddled the winners of this year's Florida Derby, Holy Bull, Louisiana Derby, and Wood Memorial.