Trainer James Cassidy has decided to keep Rebel Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Ocean Sound at Oaklawn Park to run in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Cassidy-trained Jamaican Rum closed to finish second in last year's renewal of the Arkansas Derby.
"The Derby is a go," Cassidy said Thursday from Los Angeles. "We'll breeze him once, five-eighths or three-quarters on April 6. Otherwise, he'll gallop up to the race."
A bay son of the Storm Bird stallion Mujadil out of Ossana (by Tejano), Ocean Sound has won one of 11 career starts. Prior to the Rebel, Ocean Sound finished fourth in the San Rafael Stakes (gr. II), four lengths behind Came Home.
Cassidy said that he's "still on the fence" in regards to starting maiden Jack's Silver in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). Jack's Silver is a half-brother of Jamaican Rum by Soft Gold. In his most recent start, Jack's Silver finished third in a Golden Gate Fields maiden race run on yielding turf after having finished second to Came Home in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II).
Another Southern California-based horse likely for the Arkansas Derby is Holdthehelm. A decision on the Helmsman colt's next start will be made following a Sunday work on the turf course, but trainer Paul Assinesi said he will "most likely" send Holdthehelm to Oaklawn Park.
Holdthehelm has won two of ten starts and finished third behind Yougottawanna and Mountain Rage in last year's restricted Pinjara Stakes. Most recently, he finished fifth -- beaten by just three-quarters of a length -- in the Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) after defeating Definite Edge in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the main track.
In other Arkansas Derby developments, Rebel third-place finisher Dusty Spike will run on Lasix for the first time in the 1 1/8-mile race, according to trainer Mark Lee.