American Pharoah lived up to pre-race expectations by pulling away in the stretch to win the $1-million Arkansas Derby by eight lengths on Saturday.
The colt, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, went off as the heavy 1-9 favorite in the eight-horse field at Oaklawn Park. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, American Pharoah ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.2 in the Kentucky Derby prep race.
American Pharoah paid $2.20, $2.20 and $2.10. Far Right returned $2.80 and $2.40, and Mr. Z paid $3.80 to show.
It was the fourth straight victory for last year's 2-year-old champion, and gave Baffert his second Arkansas Derby win.
Divining Rod took charge entering the stretch to win the $250,000 Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland and earn a few more points toward the Kentucky Derby with his second victory in five starts.
Masochistic won the $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes for older horses by three-quarters of a length at Santa Anita in his first start for trainer Ron Ellis. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Kona Gold ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.69 and paid $3.80, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 4-5 favorite. In the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes, Home Journey won by a length as the 3-1 second choice in a field of eight older fillies and mares.