Mathea Kelley

Optimizer Tunes Up For Arkansas Derby

Son of English Channel ran second in Oaklawn's grade II Rebel Stakes.

Rebel Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Optimizer  put in his final workout for Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Under jockey Jon Court, the 3-year-old son of English Channel  owned by Bluegrass Hall went five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 at Oaklawn and now heads into the track’s marquee race.

“It was very well done,” said Lukas. “It was right on the money for us this close to the race. The idea was to keep his interest up. Now we have to keep him happy. He’s had a good three weeks (since his last race).”

Optimizer, who is out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy Pick, has won or placed in four of eight starts and earned $212,261.