Giant Oak's breeze on March 7, clocked in 1:00.80 for five furlongs, was a routine move in advance of Fair Grounds' $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 14. However, just past the wire, trainer Chris Block's big horse bobbled briefly, giving the Illinois-based conditioner some moments of concern until he was able to check out his horse back at the barn.
Virginia Tarra Trust's Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old, was installed as the 3-1 favorite among 13 sophomores entered for the Feb. 7, $200,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.