Donegal Racing’s Arklow, with only a maiden win under his belt, looked like a seasoned professional when he pulled off an upset in the $300,000 American Turf Presented by Ram Trucks (G2) on Kentucky Derby Day, May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Jerry Crawford for Donegal Racing purchased Arklow for $160,000 at Keeneland’s 2015 September Yearling Sale from the consignment of Penn Sales, agent. The Arch colt was bred in Kentucky by John R. Penn and Frank Penn.
In the American Turf, Arklow was bumped and had to steady right out of the gate, and was well back in the early going. Mike Smith, up for trainer Brad Cox, kept the colt off the hedge, asked for some run around the turn and got a big response. Arklow cleared his rivals in midstretch to post a length win in 1:44.64 for the 1 1/16-mile race over a turf course listed as good.
Arklow began 2017 in graded stakes company at Fair Grounds, running fourth in the Lecomte (G3) and unplaced in the Risen Star (G2), before winning a maiden special weight race at Keeneland on April 4. That performance, at 1 1/8 miles, came in Arklow’s first attempt on the grass.