Cyberknife causes upset in the Arkansas Derby

April 2, 2022

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 2, 2022) – Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife capped a huge day for jockey Florent Geroux and trainer Brad Cox with his victory at 5-1 in Saturday’s $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby with 100 points. Geroux and Cox also teamed to win the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile (G3) with Fulsome and Geroux also won the $600,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) with Kentucky Oaks hopeful Yuugiri.

Despite dumping Geroux in the post parade, Cyberknife was all business in the race, tracking early pace setter Kavod from fourth through fractions of :22 and :46 2/5 for the first half mile. He took command around the final turn and drew off to win by 2 ¾ lengths over the ultra-consistent Barber Road, who has place in all four of Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby points races. The filly Secret Oath, the 7-5 favorite, was third after a troubled trip.

California shipper Doppleganger was fourth and was followed by Kavod, Ben Diesel, We The People, Un Ojo and Chasing Time.

Cyberknife, a son of 2017 Horse of the Year and Razorback Handicap (G3) winner Gun Runner, improved his career record to 3-2-0 from six starts and has now earned $860,000. He paid $13.80, $7 and $3.60.

Cyberknife is now ranked fourth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. Barber Road is ranked ninth with 58 points and the filly Secret Oath, who is securely in the field for the Kentucky Oaks with 60 points, is ranked 22nd for the Kentucky Derby with 20 points. Only the top 20 points earners get to start in the Kentucky Derby. Un Ojo, despite his eighth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby, is ranked 10th with 54 points from his Rebel Stakes (G2) win and his second in the Withers Stakes (G3).

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Arkansas Derby Quotes:

Winning trainer Brad Cox, Cyberknife: “Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, right, like your thoughts. You watch these horses train and you have high hopes. Sometimes, they pick you up, sometimes they let you down. In this case, he picked us up today. We thought he was a good colt. He got some good (speed) figures last time. I don’t really know what happened in the Lecomte – from a maiden win to the Lecomte was just too much too quick for him. He looked great in the Lecomte and then straightened up and was just nowhere, backed out of it. So, he certainly trained like a big horse and ran like one today. I was a little concerned he (Florent Geroux) may have been moving just a touch early into a hot pace. But, obviously, it worked out. Very, very proud of him.”

Winning jockey Florent Geroux, Cyberknife: “Great effort with some high hopes for him. We always thought he was very talented. Looks like he finally put it together and he’s probably not even 100% as he was zig zagging down the lane. I’m hoping he’s going to be a little straighter on the first Saturday in May. But, a very talented horse.”

Trainer John Ortiz, second with Barber Road: “Winning effort once again. The distance proved to be the right angle that we’re looking for. Obviously, we still might need a little bit more. I think we secured a spot for the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Reylu (Gutierrez) did a fantastic job. Once again, we’ve still got to work out our traffic situation, but the horse has got guts. You know what, you’ve got to run through traffic in the Kentucky Derby and you need a horse that’s got guts. I think we’ve got the right thing and I’ve got the rider for it.”

Jockey Reylu Gutierrez, second on Barber Road: “Well, you’ve got to give credit to (trainer) Brad Cox. He knew this horse, Cyberknife, was a proper horse the whole time, so you’ve got to give credit to Brad and his thinking. But for my horse, what a race. Had traffic again. We know the game plan’s to get outside, get him out in the clear, out of trouble. It doesn’t work out like that sometimes, but I saved ground both turns and I think that helped us finish at the end the way we did. I’m really excited for a mile and a quarter, man. I’m really excited about it. Not many horses go a mile and a quarter, but mine can. It was awesome.”

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, third with favorite Secret Oath: “We got outrun today. Made that big move (on the second turn) and I thought she would sustain it, but she didn’t. The race didn’t unfold like you’d hope it to. It just didn’t come together. We got bumped at the start and that got her back too far and then she made that monster move (on the second turn). It’s hard to sustain it. She might have run that quarter pretty damn fast.”

Jockey Luis Contreras, third on favorite Secret Oath: “It was a little rough early. The seven (Ben Diesel) was pushing me the whole race. She tried really hard from the 3/8ths home. I thought she was going to kick on, but had too much to do.”

Trainer Rodolphe Brisset, fifth with We The People: “Tough trip. I mean :22 flat (opening quarter), really? Flavien (Prat) just could not keep going where he was, so he decided to take back. And, when he took back, you could see the horse wasn’t comfortable on the backside. It was just a very tough trip. It is what it is and we’ve got to regroup and see where he takes us.”

Oaklawn Park Press Release

Photo: Cyberknife (Coady Photo)

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