Magnum Moon returned to his base at Palm Beach Downs in South Florida April 15, less than 24 hours after winning the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park—trainer Todd Pletcher's record fifth victory in the race.
Owned by Robert and Lawana Low of Springfield, Mo., Magnum Moon set the pace and pulled away to a four-length victory over Quip to remain unbeaten in four starts.
Favored at 4-5 under regular rider Luis Saez, Magnum Moon ran 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:49.86.
"He ate every oat last night and showed good energy this morning," Robert Low said Sunday. "He flew out early."
Magnum Moon earned 100 qualifying points toward the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs. He will enter the first leg of the Triple Crown as the top points earner with 150.
Unraced at 2, Magnum Moon will try to become the fourth winner of the Rebel Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby to capture the Kentucky Derby, following Sunny's Halo (1983), Smarty Jones (2004), and American Pharoah (2015).
"It's very difficult to do what he's done since Jan. 13—break his maiden, to now be four-for-four and win the Rebel and Arkansas Derby, and be a grade 1 winner in his fourth start," Pletcher said Saturday. "It's a real tribute to the horse's talent."
Pletcher said the "tentative" plan for Magnum Moon is to fly to Kentucky April 23 and breeze once at Churchill Downs—"probably" eight days before the Kentucky Derby.
Quip ranks 10th in the standings with 90 points, but his status for the Kentucky Derby is fluid, said Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager for WinStar Farm, which bred and co-owns Quip, a son of Distorted Humor .
"I don't know," Walden said when asked if Quip would be pointed for the Kentucky Derby. "He was second-best today. He ran hard. Good effort, and we'll see what happens."
Solomini, third in the Arkansas Derby and second in the Rebel, is pointing for the Kentucky Derby, according to Justin Zayat, racing and stallion manager for Zayat Stables, which co-owns the Curlin colt.