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Creator wins Arkansas Derby as favorite Cupid finishes badly beaten 10th

Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. celebrates as Creator wins the Arkansas Derby on April 16.

Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. celebrates as Creator wins the Arkansas Derby on April 16.

(Danny Johnston / Associated Press)

Creator, overlooked at 11-1 from the barn of Steve Asmussen, pulled a major upset Saturday winning the $1-million Arkansas Derby, the last major prep race before the Kentucky Derby.

Cupid, the favorite running for Southern California-based Bob Baffert, was in good position with a stalking trip in second heading into the home stretch, but he faded badly to 10th in the 12-horse field.

As winner of the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn, Cupid has enough qualifying points to make the May 7 Kentucky Derby, but it’s unclear if Baffert will point him to that race.

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At one point in the 1 1/8-mile race, Creator was last, but jockey Rcardo Santana Jr. was able to navigate the colt through the 12-horse field and get him to the front. Working his way through a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field would certainly be a bigger challenge.

Suddenbreakingnews was second and Whitmore, the second favorite, was third.

Some had hoped Cupid was the mirror image of American Pharoah, who won the Rebel and Arkansas Derby before going on to win the Triple Crown.

Follow John Cherwa on Twitter @jcherwa


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